Ventura to Catalina


It was dark, and it was cold when we pulled the boat out of slip E-28, and left the dock at 6:30 in the morning. There was one last good bye from a friend who happened to be up to see us off.  E-Dock, we miss it already! We were leaving on the back of a low pressure system that just rolled through Ventura. The sea was still calming down and would be continuing to calm down for the next several days. We were up pretty late the night before just putting things away. I had provisioned enough food for two weeks, now it was just figuring out where to stow it successfully on the boat. There are many nooks and crannies, and I managed to find spots for everything. I just figured we’d wing it. What ever is most accessible will be what we eat. Our provisions included items from three different grocery stores, tons of fresh fruit and veggies, non-perishable foods and plenty of snacks!

Ventura Sunrise

Our proposed route was leave Ventura, head for the East end of Anacapa Island, and then veer South East towards Catalina. The entire trip the wind was 10-15 knots, but from the wrong direction. We were bashing up wind a lot, which made the passage uncomfortable! The swell was 4-6 feet.  A few hours into our “motor” sail we started nearing the shipping lanes. Beep, Beep, Beep . . . the AIS was going off! I ran down below to check it out. The ship appeared to be pretty far off and the course seemed to be corrected. At that point, it was very clear, any extended time spent below was very uncomfortable! So uncomfortable, that we were both feeling it’s ill effects. The AIS continued to perform. Beep, Beep, Beep. Another? Yep. I Ran down below again to confirm the location of the next ship and ours, and we continued on. Shortly after, the Coast Guard made an announcement over the radio that they are performing a live missile practice, and all ships should avoid a 10 mile radius of their area! What were the coordinates?! We got about half the numbers, and they seemed awfully close to our coordinates. We waited for the repeat of the message but the girl was mumbling on the radio. Grrr. Grant went down and called the coast guard on the radio in order to confirm the coordinates. Beep, Beep, Beep….Again?!  The AIS confirmed what my eyes could see,  a huge container ship from Panama traveling at 17 knots, coming right towards us. Yes, perfect timing again! We have less than 15 min until our paths cross! The conversation with the coast guard went on for what seemed like FOREVER, while we waited for them to give us directions. In the mean time I tried to steer us clear of the ship as fast as 7 knots would take us. We ended up reversing our course and little by little we saw the nose of the ship getting farther and father away from our stern. Hello Panama! After giving the ship some room to pass, we turned around again. In the mean time, the coast guard had confirmed our position. “Continue on your course in order to exit our practice area, we will be firing behind you in the opposite direction.” Awesome! Shortly after, friends from E-Dock (H-mony – Troller) who were also sailing to Catalina popped on the radio to say hello and confirm the lumpy seas. But, even the familiar voices couldn’t help avoid what was about to happen next.

Feeling Much Better!

I couldn’t fight it any longer. I went to the side and puked. Grant was apologetic and continued steering while I rested. I felt instantly relieved. The icky feeling was gone for the most part, but I felt slightly embarrassed. It was my first deposit ever! I had come close before, but thought I could actually fight it. Shortly after Grant puked as well. Water and crackers were lunch and dinner that day. It’s amazing what sea sickness will do to a person. Many of the following thoughts crossed our minds. Let’s just sell the boat because we can’t even hack a sail from Ventura to Catalina without getting sick. This is crap water, imagine having to deal with this for more than a day? What about three? What about more? Maybe we aren’t cut out for this? Why didn’t we take anything before we left? Guess this was just proof living on a boat doesn’t make you any less prone to the illness. It wasn’t too much longer before it seemed like we were exiting out of the crappy water and chaos. We both looked at each other and confirmed if these conditions were similar it would be gorgeous sailing, but you have to find ways to deal with what your dealt.

Fresh Kelp

We entered the anchorage at dusk and picked up a mooring ball. The anchorage water was amazingly clear. I could see the bottom perfectly. As I picked up the mooring ball, it happened to be covered in Kelp. Really?! At this point I didn’t care. I just pulled it all up on deck and tied it off quickly. I wasn’t surprised, this was the perfect end to a crappy day of sailing. The kelp branches were so thick they had to be cut with a knife to free. After freeing the kelp we readjusted our mooring lines so they were properly positioned. H-Mony friends (M&M) arrived in Emerald bay a few hours ahead of us. They called to welcome us to Emerald Bay!


  • Sounds like quite the adventure. Just wanted to take a moment to thank you for blogging, thanks!! I have been following you guys for quite a while now from out here in Cedar Rapids IA and really enjoy your blog. Thanks for keeping it up!

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