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Do You Know What Time It Is?

Sierra Behlmer, a charming 13 year old, enjoys a swing on the halyard of the Beneteau 473 Greetings at the Isthmus at Catalina. Her stepdad Greg and mom Teri Weeger had just finished a three-year circumnavigation, and Sierra was lucky enough to join them for about a third of it.

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It’s almost August, which means the next 2.5 months are prime time at Catalina, the main playground for mariners in Southern California. The weather and conditions for the last week have been wonderful. There hasn’t been much fog, and there has been lots of blue sky and sunshine. The air temperature is great — although if you’re hiking, it’s hot ashore right up until sundown, so you don’t want to forget to bring water.

Harbor John up at Emerald Bay reports that the water temperatures are creeping up to 72 degrees. That’s hardly tropical, but it’s close to as good as it gets in Southern California. And lots of folks — well, lots of kids — got into the swing of things. The big south swell that slammed Southern California didn’t miss Catalina, of course, and locals were getting great rides near Little Harbor.

It was a full house at the Isthmus over the weekend. Most of the boats had just come over from the mainland, but a couple had just finished circumnavigations or years in the Med.

©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The water clarity has been wonderful for the last four or five days. Out at what some locals now jokingly refer to as Profligate Reef, we can easily see Profligate‘s rode and anchor lying on the bottom. It’s just beautiful. Even better, there hasn’t been much wind, so it’s been flat as a pancake even out on the reef.

Lots of mariners have been enjoying the fun at Catalina. Last weekend all the moorings were taken at the Isthmus, and we counted 37 boats anchored out in water 90 to 105 feet deep. And everywhere we went we met folks who have done Ha-Ha’s, are going to do the Baja Ha-Ha this year, or did it last year and are going to do it again this year.

The dinghy dock at the Isthmus. If you’re looking for cheap entertainment, this is the place.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

While gentle winds are nice, participants in this Friday’s Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race, perhaps the most fun race in Southern California, are hoping for stronger winds for the downwind 81-miler. We hope to see you there — and at Catalina the week after. After all, it’s prime time.

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