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ASA 103/104 Training and Sailing to Catalina Island

This past weekend I met up with longtime friend Sean Safdi in San Diego and did American Sailing Association 103 and 104 training with the Seaforth Sailing School.

Day 1
  • Met our captain, Mike Roach, and crew mates, Terry and Rick. All great guys.
  • Provisioned the boat, a Catalina 36 mkII, prepared the boat for departure
  • Sailed out of Quivira Basin in Mission Bay, San Diego north up the coast to Oceanside.
  • Docked in Oceanside for the night, got dinner at a local seafood joint, walked around the Oceanside pier.

Day 2
  • Woke up on the boat in Oceanside marina, made way northward towards Dana Point.
  • Took our ASA 103 written exam before making way.
  • Sailed all day north, beating upwind on a close haul. Sailing on a close haul is an excercise in patience and precision. Sails must be trimmed perfectly for decent speet, and navigation becomes dicier as tacks must be made to stay relatively on course. Great practice.
  • Anchored in Dana Point Harbor.
  • Ate dinner on the boat.



Day 3
  • Woke up in Dana Point and made an early departure westbound towards Catalina Island.
  • Wind was nonexistent, and since we were on a tight schedule, we used the D-sail (motor) most of the way over to Catalina Island.
  • Picked up a mooring ball at the very crowded Avalon Marina in Catalina Island.
  • Mooring there was very very easy and precise – all mooring balls are numbered, and you’re assigned a number when you enter the marina. Mooring balls have vertical wands attached to them, so picking up the mooring line out of the water is as simple as grabbing the wand as it passes next to the bow. Boats are held in line by complimentary stern mooring lines, which are coupled with the bow mooring line to make it easy to find and use. Overall a very smooth experience mooring in Avalon – no boat hook necessary.
  • Took our ASA 104 written exam on the boat.
  • Got the shore boat ride over to shore.
  • Sean and I rented a golf cart and did a lap around the Avalon area. Saw the zipline course – definitely something I’ll be doing next time I’m in Avalon.
  • Met up with the rest of the crew for dinner, then Sean and I separated again and walked around.
  • Slept on the boat in the marina.

Day 4
  • Woke up at 0300 to get a very very early night time start on the days passage.
  • Motored out of Avalon, setting a course for San Diego’s Mission Bay
  • Motored most of the day, past a large stopped freighter and a military stealth hovercraft.
  • Practiced Man Overboard quickstop procedures just off of La Jolla point.
  • Sailed into Mission Bay around 1500.
  • Disembarked in the afternoon, had a final wrapup session, and then Sean and I departed Mission Bay. We stopped at Sean’s old childhood home in SD, grabbed lunch at In-N-Out, and then made it to the airport for our flights.

Photos

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