Cruising to Catalina: Portal, Pixel and Crew

Can you believe it’s been a whole year since New Equator? Wow, what a year! There have been up’s and down’s, but thankfully more of the former – and lately life has been bitter sweet.

Remember that Gift Boat idea we had at our wedding? I can barely believe that just a year later, we are rocking to-and-fro on her, reminiscing about all the glorious people that made it possible. You deserve an extra special thanks on these days of the year (3 day weddings rock!), and know that we have you in our hearts as we bring her to life on the water.

Since we get to celebrate for a whole long-weekend, we decided to roster-off work and make our first Maiden Voyage aboard Portal, to Catalina Island.

Just 30miles South of Marina Del Rey, but seemingly a world away, lies Catalina Island. We spent 8hours sailing the first day, on one nice long tack towards the Isthmus, and picked up a mooring for the first time – no sweat and nicely settled by 8pm, ready for sundown. Pixel got a little sea-sick the first hour, but got it out of her system and slept the rest of the way there.

A beautiful day of biking followed, up and down a few different trails, swimming in beaches along the way. Good food, good fun and a gorgeous man – I was happy!

After our second night at the Isthmus we headed up to Emerald Bay to practice our anchoring. Got it set and holding on our two different attempts – one in 14ft (and next to a reef!), the other in a comfortable 40ft. Pixel got her second water lesson too – How to get back onto the boat once you fall in! She handled it wonderfully and was soon back to chasing her tail and playing around. She’s actually a great swimmer!

Around two we loaded up the borrowed Kayak, tucked pixel in and set sail for home. We made great head-way with the staysail, jib and main set on a close reach. 7 hours later we were making out the Marina Del Rey lights in the distance and adjusting course, still amazed that our little boat really works – no oil, just wind! Back in our slip, sunburnt and sparkly eyed, we slept soundly on the last night of our anniversary.












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