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Boethius' Cruise - May 22, 2019  

.Boethius: There and Back Again, May 2019, Rick Kennedy

Boethius and I left our mooring in the lee of Point Loma on Sunday afternoon May 12, anchoring in Mariner’s Cove in Mission Bay after a pleasant sail. Monday we left at 0600 for a long day northward to Newport Harbor—birth-harbor for Yankee Dolphins built in nearby Costa Mesa/Santa Ana. Because the goal of this trip was to reach Marina del Rey in Santa Monica Bay in the time allotted by my wife, we motored in light winds the distance from Mission Bay in to Newport. I spent most of the day re-reading Consolation of Philosophy by the boat’s namesake, Boethius. Click here to go to her home page

A good day’s reading while the autopilot steers

Sunset at free anchorage in Newport Harbor

San Pedro Channel was packed full of dolphins—the ocean mammal. The best were the Spinner Dolphins that soar high completely out of the water, twist, and land with a loud splat flat on the water. Wind picked up around 1100, so we tacked out, came about, and sailed fast into Santa Monica Bay passing the lighthouse on Point Vincente.

After a great sail into Marina del Rey, we tied up at a visitor dock at Burton Chase Park. The evening was spent walking around Marina del Rey into Venice. I saw the dock with four dolphins. Someday we should meet.

Possibly the best sail in all of California is from Marina del Rey to Santa Catalina Island. Winds come at a perfect angle.

For us the following day, good winds with extra West in them had us speeding past the Point Vincente Lighthouse with the island ahead across San Pedro Channel.

Left - Lighthouse on Point Vincente, Palos Verdes.

Left - Speeding to Santa Catalina Island with Point Vincente Lighthouse and Palos Verdes astern.

We anchored in Gallagher’s Cove in 40 feet, but were rousted out by a young man in a skiff. We had anchored there 18 years ago, but he said now the cove was leased and no anchorage allowed.

So, I pulled up anchor and wandered down the coast. The weather report was saying rain and small craft warning for the next day, but I thought if I pulled up anchor early, we could ride the heavy winds with a reefed main on a broad reach all the way to San Diego the next day.

Left - Gallagher’s Cove

After putzing our way down to Avalon, I made a bad decision.  Instead of paying a mooring fee in the harbor, I dropped anchor off Descanso Bay in 120 feet of water.  Southern California Islands are big rocks with steep sides.  The water goes deep fast.  This is why, when I was much younger, I bought almost 200 feet of chain and added a couple hundred feet of rode.  During the night the winds became much rougher than I expected.  The anchor held fine against the big gusts, and I thought we could head south at dawn. 

Dawn brought heavy rain along with continued gusting and not as much visibility as I had hoped.  I texted my wife that I would be staying another night and move Boethius into the harbor.  When the rain was misting I took a picture of a beautiful rainbow over Descanso Bay. Below Left

Left - Descanso Bay, Santa Catalina Island.

After taking the picture, I went to the bow to pull up the anchor. I am sorry to say, that the weight of the chain plus whatever the anchor was holding on to, was too much for me. I struggled a long while, gaining an inch or two now and then, until a patrol boat came by, showed sympathy with an old man, and offered to use his boat to drag me into shallower water—protected waters where normally boats are not allowed to anchor. After about 45 minutes, he finally waved good bye after I had the anchor on deck.

Winds went crazy the rest of the day and I am glad we stayed. The harbor patrol recommended waiting out the following day which also forecasted big gusts. So I texted my wife that I would be three night holed up in Avalon Harbor. I sadly ran out of books to read, but the museum in Avalon had a good book for me to purchase.

Avalon Harbor in the afternoon of the second day when things were looking better.

The long trip back to San Diego was pleasant with heavy swells following. We passed a large sunfish basking on its side, but did not see much else in the way of sea life. Back in the lee of Point Loma, we totaled right at 250 nautical miles traveled.









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