Dana Point Harbor
33░27.4'N - 117░41.4'W
Dana Point, California USA

Located about halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego on the southern Orange County coast, its truly one of the most spectacular man-made harbors in the world. The harbor and adjacent city are named after Richard Henry Dana, who, in 1835 at the age of 19, sailed around Cape Horn aboard the trading Brig "Pilgrim" in search of cowhides for Boston shoe factories. Upon his return, he wrote the book "Two Years Before The Mast".  In his book he had the following to say:  Richard Henry Dana"San Juan is the only romantic spot in California. The country here for several miles is high table-land, running boldly to the shore, and breaking off in a steep hill, at the foot of which the waters of the Pacific are constantly dashing. For several miles, the water washes the very base of the hill, or breaks upon ledges and fragments of rocks which run out into the sea. Just where we landed was a small cove, or `bight,` which gave us, at high tide, a few square feet of sand-beach between the sea and the bottom of the hill. This was the only landing-place. Directly before us, rose the perpendicular height of four or five hundred feet." Richard Henry Dana upon anchoring off Dana Point n his book "Two Years Before The Mast"

Dana Point Harbor is a man-made harbor built in a cove formed by the headlands of Dana Point to the north in Capistrano Bay.  Construction began in the 1960's with a coffer dam built using the outer breakwaters.  Installation of the pilings and docks was done "on the hard" with bulldozers and dump trucks creating the outer island and the cove side Embarcadero area.  As construction was completed, water was allowed back into the basins and the first boats visited the "New" harbor in 1969.  

Dana Point Harbor was officially dedicated on July 31, 1971. The harbor remains one of the most technically advanced designs yet still retains the secluded beauty and historic charm of its romantic past.

Dana Point Marina is divided into two basins, the East Basin and West Basin. Each basin operates as a separate marina but is owned by the County of Orange.  The two marinas have a total of 2,500 slips for vessels of various sizes but some downsizing in the number of slips has been proposed as plans to reconfigure the slip layout to accommodate a greater number of larger vessels.  There are about fifty guest slips for transiting boats. There is also a fairly large shopping and dining area at the east end of the harbor offering every thing from souvenirs to Native American jewelry, bagels to martinis, fish and chips to filets.

The Ocean Institute, located at the far west end of Dana Point Harbor, offers a unique educational experience for both children and adults with classroom instruction, oceanic measuring equipment, display tanks and exhibits to study marine life. The 70-foot research vessel Sea Explorer provides daily cruises to study and observe marine life offshore. Beyond the Institute is the Marine Life Refuge, fantastic tidepools and rocky coves.

                                

The harbor is also the home port for the brig "Pilgrim" which is a full-sized replica of the square rigged vessel on which Richard Henry Dana sailed.  It is berthed next to the  pier and offers programs for school kids to experience of life aboard a sailing ship in the 19th century.  The "Spirit of Dana Point" is also berthed at the Institute and offers cruises back into history.
                                     

Dana Point Harbor News!

MAYDAY!  MAYDAY!   MAYDAY!
Possessory Interest Tax    Retroactive Taxes
Excessive Slip Fee Increases       Hugh Storage Fee Increases
Reduction of slip & launch parking      Uncertain Slip Allocations

Dana Point Boaters will be at the Dana Point Boat Show May 31 to June 3rd

Boater "Town Hall" Meeting 7pm Thursday, June 14th, 2007
St. Edwards Catholic Church 33926 Calle La Primavera, Dana Point.

www.danapointboaters.org

For news from the County of Orange, there is The Dana Point Harbor Plan...This will give you their plans for "Revitalizing" the Harbor. 
 

 

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