Our first jaunt to Catalina Island
Updated: Jul 29, 2020
After hearing many amazing stories about Catalina Island, we were excited to plan a trip there. Santa Catalina Island is a rocky island off the coast of Southern California in the Gulf of Santa Catalina. The island name is often shortened to Catalina Island or just Catalina. The island is 22 mi (35 km) long and 8 mi (13 km) across at its greatest width.
Since we had never been to Catalina, we decided to leave in the evening and sail through the night in order to get there in daylight to navigate the new harbor. From San Diego, It took us nearly 20 hours to get to Catalina as we had very light winds. We did not want to push our motor and were happy taking our time. We took 3 hour shifts as we made our way north. There was a lot of traffic along the way with fishing boats, cargo ships, navy ships, and other recreational boats. It kept us on our toes!
We chose to go to the west side of the island, which is a bit more rustic than the more visited east side. We caught a mooring ball in Catalina Harbor, which was exactly what we were looking for with not many people, amazing views, and great hiking. We initially thought we would stay 3 nights, but we enjoyed it so much that we stayed for 7 nights! Our sail back to San Diego was a bit quicker, taking us 15 hours. We are certain we will be going back to Catalina in the near future.
Just as the rest of the world looks different due to COVID-19, so does Catalina Island. Although it's less crowded than other areas in California, social distancing and mask are still required. We rarely encountered other people on the trails and found it easy to social distance when out and about.