Two weeks ago we took our first trip to Catalina Island, California on our own boat.  To most of your reading the blog, this isn’t a big deal, but to me it was a first.  Getting there and back on your own sailboat, under your own direction and navigation is an admirable thing, as it says you’re willing to go offshore for 7-9 hours in order to get somewhere.  It was fun but since we had friends on the boat and it was our first fairly major trip on the boat.  I learned a few things:

1. The heading on my autopilot and GPS don’t always match up, which is ok, but I need to know which to follow.

2. The heading that the free version of Navionics gives you isn’t the most accurate, which is why you should buy and download their software instead of trying to get by on the free version.

3. I like to be self-reliant.  We tangled a mooring line in the prop upon arrival to Avalon, requiring assistance from the Shore Patrol to keep us from hitting other boats while we floundered around without forward power.  In being self-reliant with my own dive gear, I was able to avoid having to hire a diver, getting us untangled myself.  Boy, it was cold and I could have used a wetsuit, but got it done.  It wasn’t a hero thing either, it was simply a task that needed to get done.  But, in having to cut one line,,,I also got to buy Avalon a brand new mooring, “we’ll be billed”.

4. I would really, really like my instruments to work right, as I’d like to be able to see which way the wind is going without guessing, I’d like to know what the actual speed is from the boat vice the GPS, but we did figure out that the chart plotter works, which was a win.

5. We also learned what the toilets require to function, a true revelation that allowed us to relax, knowing is half the battle.

Ok, can’t wait to get back to Catalina, Isthmus is calling.

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