Successful Catalina Cruise!

by Joe Motil, Cruising Captain
First Cruising Event of the year, July 15 – 17, 2022
all photos by Joel Oglesbee

It was a typical morning – the marine layer foggy haze and dew covered our decks that Friday. Our three cruisers – new AYC member Joel Oglesbee, and Kellie and Jeff Eaton – boarded Habibti, our chartered sailboat. After completing our final check-out, we were off motoring through Hell’s Gate, the lower exit from the Long Beach harbor. The forecast for fair winds proved a bit low, and a small reef improved our handling as we made our way up the coast to Point Fermin, then set a course for Two Harbors Isthmus Cove.

Once on the mooring ball, the “relax” lamp was lit, and we proceeded to fly our US and Arizona flags, and of course, our distinctive AYC burgee. While enjoying appetizers, a small dingy putted by and hailed us – “You guys are from Arizona?!” It was Tom Errickson and Donna Benson, who were moored nearby. The joined us, and mentioned that Ed and Deb Huntsman were also moored close by. We enjoyed a nice visit and then discovered the Beneteau 35.1 next to us was yet another AYC boat with Steve Brown and Scott Matreyek aboard.

(Editor’s note: Joe Motil is passionate about cooking and food!) After a dinner of fajitas and a black bean salad, we retired to our bunks to get ready for the new day coming. Saturday dawned with a burrito breakfast, and we decided to go ashore and catch the Cyclone power boat to Avalon for some sightseeing. We enjoyed great shops, good eats and fun people watching before catching the Cyclone back to Isthmus Cove. There the local tavern served up the requisite Buffalo Milk drink, the island’s signature drink.

Then it was back to the boat to relax and start dinner of lemon caper butter sauced chicken with rigatoni and seared asparagus. All went well before discovering that the lemon had been left behind, and so asking the next door boat… “Pardon me, but would you happen to have a lemon?” Sure enough, they had one to spare and the dinner got made as planned and a relaxing evening transpired as the sun set.

Sunday awoke to a dense marine layer with forecasts of low winds and so with light breakfast, we slipped off the ball at 8:30 AM and headed out to make the crossing under power. En route we encountered several pods of porpoises, out and chasing their daily meals along with terns, gulls, and pelicans. It was truly spectacular to watch them ripping through the water, with some leaping completely out.

Arriving back at the marina, we thoroughly cleaned the boat and buttoned her up, before grabbing our the gear and heading home. All in all, a great time was had and that said… it can happen to you too, all you gotta do is sign up.

Note: AYC’s next Catalina Cruise is scheduled for August 19 -21. Read more here: Cruise to Catalina.