Every August for the past 13 years in southern California, there has been a migration of multihulls to Catalina Island. What started as a weekend party for Seawind catamarans sponsored by West Coast Multihulls has evolved into an annual rally. We come together for several days of sailing, friendship, learning, and most of all, parties! Boats come from as far south as San Diego and as far north as San Francisco Bay.
This year’s rally kicked off with the Thursday night “Meet & Greet” on the patio at the Harbor Reef restaurant. It is always great to meet new participants and to catch up with veterans of the rally while swapping stories over appetizers and cocktails. Having attended all 13 rallies, Pam and I have met many new friends here.
Friday morning, we all met up at the Isthmus Yacht Club, which is located in a historic building that once housed Union Army troops during the Civil War. There is a bar serving Bloody Marys and continental breakfasts, and it is where we have a guest speaker each year. This year’s speakers were Tim and Ruth Henning of “Victory Cat”, a Seawind 1160 that had just completed an around-the-world cruise. Their presentation included beautiful photos and great stories and was both informative and entertaining. It is presentations like this that keep the dream alive for many sailors like us. Friday night, we all gathered for our themed dinner. This year’s theme was “Jamaica Me Crazy,” so out came the dreadlocks and reggae music. The food was island-themed and very tasty, and, along with rum cocktails, it wasn’t long before the dancing and limbo started. My back is still killing me!
Saturday morning, we all left our moorings and headed out for our race (it’s a rally, not a race…) around the west end of Catalina to Cat Harbor. This year’s race saw plenty of wind and made the fishing a little more difficult while flying a spinnaker. I told you it was a rally, not a race! The biggest challenge is getting 10 catamarans rafted up in 25-knot winds; always exciting. Being rafted up allows us to visit all of the boats and enjoy all the themed appetizers and share stories. Later in the evening, many came over to “Barramundi,” where we broke out the instruments and played music and sang until the Harbor Patrol came by and gave us the stink-eye.
Sunday morning, we broke up the raft and headed out. Most were sailing home, but a few of us chose to sail around the back side of Catalina and find a mooring in Avalon. This has become a regular stop for several of us rally veterans, where we can stretch out the fun for a few more days. As always, a trip to Avalon wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Luau Larry’s and the Marlin Club. The great weather continued and we spent two more days enjoying the island. On the sail back to San Diego, we were already thinking about a theme for next year’s rally. Yes, it’s really that good!
You can also find this article in our latest Seawind Cruising Club Issue 2 magazine. In this issue, we also cover a lot of stories from Seawind owners, sailing tips and the latest news about Seawind catamarans.