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San Pedro to Two Harbors in a 19' Mariner

Dec 28, 2020
22
O'Day 19 Marina Del Rey
Blue Stripe Shakedown.jpeg


Just to recap/condense:

The Mariner 19 is a closed-cabin version of the Rhodes 19. The cabin hatch can be closed and locked. It has a self-bailing cockpit and mine has a pretty decent bilge pump. I will have tools/spares for the outboard and enough fuel the motor the whole way and then some. I'll also have a spare trolling motor and spare battery (which moves the thing at its hull speed) and oars. I'll have a genoa on hand if the main and or jib fails. (The main and jib are 2021 sails, and the main has one reefing point.) I have harnesses and foul weather gear and a good first-aid kit onboard. I have tools and spares to repair/replace shrouds and stuff to make ad hoc leak/breach repairs. I'll have two anchors. I have hardwired lights, back-up battery-powered lights and all the coast-guard mandated safety gear. I have two waterproofed devices with GPS and navigation software, in addition to my phone. I have waterproof hard charts, a good compass and a depthfinder. I have a VHF radio with DSC/GPS and clear instruction for even my kids to be able to use it. I have a 406 mhz floating GPS emergency beacon in a floating bag. I have a separate GPS tracker that will allow my wife to see exactly where we are in real time even if my phone's GPS fails.

And yes, people make the crossing on jetskis. There's even an annual paddleboard race across this channel.

All that said, it's not a trip I'm going to take lightly, and if the weather forecast is dubious, I'm happy to postpone the trip or stay additional days on the island. I would 100% not go out if there is a small craft advisory. I'll no doubt be checking with people on this forum for their thoughts on whether I should go right up until the departure.
 
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Oct 26, 2008
4,915
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
It's probably more about the tone of your posts. Yes, you certainly have more valid experience than you have let on up until this point. It's fantastic to know that your son has been seriously pursuing this sailing bug! You don't know how many threads complain about the lack of interest among young people in sailing. I have a contrary opinion and I think that, like you, all you have to do is spark their interest and it will grow! Sailing has a natural attraction for young folks! Your son certainly has great experience by now and is capable, I'm sure.

Ok, all that said, my complaint is that you have approached us in manner that suggests this is a first-time excursion and you may lack some confidence in your own judgement about what is necessary. If I was lacking confidence, I would not include my teenage son or daughter in a potentially dangerous situation for the first time, where I wasn't supremely confident in my self. I would either do it alone, first, or with a willing and experienced, independent participant. Not with a minor whom might be blindly trusting my judgement.

I'm glad that you didn't take offense to my opinion. I don't ever intend to interfere in the adventures of others. I typically express my opinion without concern about whether it will be received or not. It's just an opinion on the internet, for what it's worth! If it provides some thought provocation, that's good enough! :)
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,831
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
There's been enough said about this voyage but with regard to jet skis making the crossing they can do it in less than an hour and for some in a 1/2 hour. So they are at much less risk of weather changes. So it's not an apples to apples comparison.
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,816
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
Jack is a member of the Mariner Class Association and after reading numerous posts of his on both this forum and the Association's forum, I am confidant he is attentive to the nuances of sailing and a trip to Catalina Island may be his longest sail in open water, but it certainly doesn't present any challenges he hasn't spent a great deal of time preparing for.

-Will
 
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Jul 27, 2011
4,454
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
There's been enough said about this voyage but with regard to jet skis making the crossing they can do it in less than an hour and for some in a 1/2 hour. So they are at much less risk of weather changes. So it's not an apples to apples comparison.
Perhaps enough has been said about some aspects but I was intending to elaborate some on SCAs when Scott’s comment appeared and reoriented the discussion somewhat. So, if I may. SCAs are kind of a threshold “no go” for many private boaters as well as for some organized sailing programs. However, I don’t believe that SCAs should be avoided or “feared” by sailors if experienced enough and in suitable watercraft. We sometimes go out in SCAs because they are not an a priori reason for us to stay home or at destination. High wind and steep wind waves are more threatening to small, light boats than to large, heavy ones. So even though the OP’s Mariner 19 may be found well generally and suitably equipped, it remains a “small craft” in a manner that our 39-ft, 15,500#, force-8-capable sloop is not. Still, my attention is always on the weather when we’re out. To go or not to is always in the skipper’s discretion and judgement and that cannot be reduced to “a number.” Knowing what you know, and what you do not know, is critical.
 
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Dec 28, 2020
22
O'Day 19 Marina Del Rey
Also interesting that there are different regional thresholds for a Small Craft Advisory. It's triggered by 10-foot waves on the West Coast, but only 4-foot waves on the Great Lakes, and 7-foot waves on the East Coast. But across the board, it's ~22-33 knot winds that bring out the flag.
 
Nov 22, 2011
928
Ericson 26-2 San Pedro, CA
Also interesting that there are different regional thresholds for a Small Craft Advisory. It's triggered by 10-foot waves on the West Coast, but only 4-foot waves on the Great Lakes, and 7-foot waves on the East Coast. But across the board, it's ~22-33 knot winds that bring out the flag.
The wave period is what is especially critical.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,454
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Also interesting that there are different regional thresholds for a Small Craft Advisory. It's triggered by 10-foot waves on the West Coast, but only 4-foot waves on the Great Lakes, and 7-foot waves on the East Coast. But across the board, it's ~22-33 knot winds that bring out the flag.
A 10-ft wave height would trigger the SCA here regardless of the local wind speeds.

Seas become hazardous when steep, which means that the wave height is great relative to the wavelength. Strong wind can build up the wave height, as can a shoaling bottom in a more round-about way. A wave height of 7 ft could be “more threatening” or “equally threatening” to one of 10 ft if it is much steeper. This might occur with shorter average wavelengths along the Atlantic seaboard, say.

What is the threat? A wave breaking onto the boat for one. At a wave height to wavelength ratio of 1:7, a wave breaks. What happens? The boat may be knocked down hard, or even rolled over. (Risk losing crew not tethered to the boat.)The threat (risk) of bad outcome goes up as the boat’s LOA goes down. A 7-ft wave breaking at sea might knock down or roll a boat smaller than 22 ft LOA*. In this situation, therefore, a boat less than 22 ft LOA would be a “small craft.” However, a boat of 39 ft LOA probably would not be, as per my earlier comment above, etc. With the threat of 10-ft breaking waves, any boat under 31ft LOA might be regarded as a “small craft.”

*Mariners debate whether it’s minimally 1/3, 1/2, or in between, the LOA of a boat that the height of a breaking wave must be to roll it.
 
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Sep 21, 2020
94
Hunter 26 Lake Mead
It was many years ago, but I made that trip many times from MDR in a 30 footer. You have been sailing in Santa Monica Bay, which is massive, you can travel many miles out from Marina and it seems like you are well into the ocean BUT you are in a very wind protected space. So, in a 30 footer, it was 4 hours of very boring low wind and then 2 hours of holy shit we're in the ocean with real wind and waves! I'm just saying that you need to be prepared for a different experience. And as was said above, do not leave without a marine radio, I would pick up a 25 watt on offer up and rig an antenna up on the mast.
 
Dec 28, 2020
22
O'Day 19 Marina Del Rey
Thanks. I'm watching wind and wave reports for Point Fermin, Two Harbors, and Buoy 46222. Is there anyplace I could get an indication of the 'real wind and waves' conditions? I'd like as clear and accurate a picture as I can get.

I have a 6W radio with the automated Mayday-with-GPS-coordinates function. But theoretically, that will leave some part of the channel where we can only reach other boats. I also have an EPIRB-style 406 mhz beacon that goes to the satellites, so line-of-sight range isn't an issue for it. Both of them float.
 
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Dec 28, 2020
22
O'Day 19 Marina Del Rey
Here are the numbers in my head. None of them are absolute, and I'm putting them here to get input from people with more experience and knowledge.

I would pull the plug if:
1) The forecast calls for sustained winds greater than 16 knots (I'd reef at 13 knots sustained).
2) The wave height forecast is greater than 6', or the wave period is 2x the wave height or less.

Right now, the channel buoy (4622) is showing 3.6 ft wave height and a 7 second period. I would probably not want to go out in that. However, Windfinder says the period is currently 14s, PredictWind says 8s, WindGuru says it's 14s, and BuoyWeather says 14s as well. NWS and WillyWeather say it's 8 seconds. The 14s number seems fine; the 7-8s seems problematic.

But again, I'm putting this here to benefit from other people's experience.
 
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Jun 11, 2004
1,165
Oday 31 Redondo Beach
Thanks. I'm watching wind and wave reports for Point Fermin, Two Harbors, and Buoy 46222. Is there anyplace I could get an indication of the 'real wind and waves' conditions? I'd like as clear and accurate a picture as I can get.

I have a 6W radio with the automated Mayday-with-GPS-coordinates function. But theoretically, that will leave some part of the channel where we can only reach other boats. I also have an EPIRB-style 406 mhz beacon that goes to the satellites, so line-of-sight range isn't an issue for it. Both of them float.
The buoys give real time info on swell conditions. Besides 46222 you can look at 46221 in the Santa Monica bay and 46025 in the Santa Monica Basin. 46025 also has wind speed and photos.

As for the radio a higher antenna would be good but I do get cell coverage all the way from King Harbor to the Isthmus with T-Mobile on my iphone 6s. Not that I would suggest relying on cell over VHF.
 
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Jul 27, 2011
4,454
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
If you click the link @ “plot of wave energy versus frequency (and period)” and examine the spectral density graph, you’ll see that the dominant periods are between about 9 and 6 seconds, which is the wind-wave period, typical. Those are the ones carrying most of the wave energy. I would go in this myself if I wanted to get over there. We’d each likely be bucking 3-4 ft seas much of the way if departing Cabrillo. However, the much higher freeboard, longer bow, spray dodger, and overall greater heft of my Bavaria would give me a much more comfortable, drier, ride.

I don’t think you’d want to be out there, or at least depart, in anything much over 3 ft the first time going over, unless maybe they are arriving aft of the beam which is not common. That would present a different challenge in helming but at least they’d be helping you along. Conditions tend to strengthen into afternoon and upon nearing that (western) part of the Island. Two to three feet should be OK.
 
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