Location and Moorage: Dana Point Harbor; two nights at anchor
Now it’s really starting to feel like we’re on our way home. Our second stop in Dana Point would allow Rand to work a bit, on poached wifi and at a little coffee/ice cream joint, and we could really start the re-entry process. Sunny summer days were in full force, and the little harbor was crawling with kids of all ages sailing all types of craft, swimming, and paddling around on SUPs, kayaks, and any other scrap of plastic that would float. It’s a lot like Newport, but bite-sized.
We anchored in the east end for the first afternoon, to get caught up on work and wifi-dependent lifestyle requirements. Picked up some groceries and buzzed over to the west end anchorage for the night, in the company of She’s No Lady, a huge power cruiser fishing boat, and about four other sailboats. One was a beautiful Hylas 46 named Elise, with a hailing port of Charlevoix, Michigan. At almost the same exact time we discovered this, Randy’s sister in law was sending pics of the family playing on their boat in… Charlevoix, Michigan. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.
The west end anchorage is quite pretty, with high cliffs surrounding two-thirds of it, with the rest protected by breakwater or open to the main throat of the harbor. Well worth a stop, and free for five nights. Noice! Just outside the harbor on the east end is Doheny State Beach, which boasts a nice, family-friendly surf break when a south swell is on. Jody and Randy dinghied over in the morning and caught some fun waves. Jody rediscovered what good exercise paddling is, and may have been bitten a bit by the surf bug. We’ll see.
Before heading to a beautiful dinner at Waterman’s (Thanks Thad and Kristin), we were thoroughly entertained, and not a little bit scared, by three or four fleets of yacht club sailing dinghies, their Boston Whaler riding shepherds, and a gaggle of SUP racers, ripping around our boats ALL AT ONCE. It was complete chaos, with numerous near collisions and a couple of real ones. We found kids to cheer for, heard some hilarious commentary, saw the whites of a few people’s eyes, and laughed quite a bit. Beats the hell out of election ads on TV, we can tell you that much.