an hour and howl into the north
side of the island, Avalon Harbor and the rest of the coves and anchorages
up to the East end. Not only can the winds be incredibly strong,
they produce heavy swells and steep wind waves that crash into the island.
The winds blow most often from November through February. Most local
sailors have their own tales to tell about weathering a Santa Ana blow,
the best advice is to be aware of the weather and be ready to go home
or at least, around to the protected side of the island if warranted.
Fog is another challenge to the crossing
skipper and occurs when the air flows from the ocean onshore as a high
pressure area lies off the coast and a low pressure area is over the California
and Nevada inland deserts. As cool moisture is picked up from the ocean,
the warmer air at the higher levels sinks, creating an inversion layer,
trapping and condensing the moist air into fog and is particularly heavy
during the night and early morning hours until the sun has warmed the low
air and "melts" the fog.
The infamous "Catalina Eddy" is not a local
at Luau Larry's. It is a result of a Pacific High that bends the air flow
along the coast south of Point Conception a full 90 degrees south of Catalina
Island and can make for a great ride home. Eddy takes a vacation in the
winter, but can usually visit anytime during the rest of the year.