Five Days in Dana Point


About a week ago, we returned from a five-day mini vacation in Dana Point Harbor. Over the years, we have enjoyed staying at anchor in Dana Point Harbor a few times. When we bought our first sailboat, a 26 foot Columbia, it was berthed at a marina in Dana Point and we loved it there. Unfortunately, when we updated to a 31 footer, they did not have a slip for us so we moved our new boat north. To this day we still miss it there, so we like to sail there and anchor from time to time. As we expected, this time did not disappoint.

Sunset at Dana Point

Winds were light, so we motor-sailed the 36 or so nautical miles from our slip in L.A. Harbor to Dana Point. When we arrived, we motored down the inside of the breakwater to Dana Point’s west-end anchorage. It is really calm there and there are nice views. We’ve anchored there without issue, but this time things were different. We’ve never had any trouble anchoring with the monster Mantus anchor we have, but this time we tried resetting five times, but dragged each time. So, we moved to the east-end anchorage, and all was well. After taking Dog Friday to shore for her constitutional and a few sundowners, it was time for dinner and an early bedtime.

It’s funny how after being out at sea or at anchorage for a few days, all the days seem to melt together. Time seems less and less relevant. We experienced some of the most beautiful sunsets that we’ve seen on the west coast, with every afternoon a pleasant repeat of the one before.

First Mate loves to kayak and there are plenty of places to explore here. Lots of lovely power and sail boats to look at, and the harbor is so busy that at least some people watching is in order. Many restaurants along the east-anchorage shore, too. We usually go ashore and try a few, but we had so much food aboard this trip we opted to eat aboard and take walks along the marinas after dinner for fun.

At the end of our five days there, it was time to pull up anchor, take on some diesel, and sail back to our slip. The return trip was uneventful and we actually had some decent afternoon wind. We sailed back the last 12 nautical miles without the engine. We ended up sailing along at a nice six knots in 17 knots of wind on the beam. Not bad considering our boat is not known for her speed, only her comfort.

All and all it was a great trip and we had a great time in Dana Point Harbor. No doubt that we will return again in a year or so.

At the end of our five days there, it was time to pull up anchor, take on some diesel, and sail back to our slip. The return trip was uneventful and we actually had some decent afternoon wind. We sailed back the last 12 nautical miles without the engine. We ended up sailing along at a nice six knots in 17 knots of wind on the beam. Not bad considering our boat is not known for her speed, only her comfort.

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About Captain

Over 10 years sailing and over 3500 miles under our keel. Was an engineer (EE) for over 30 years, then after moving into management, decided that the corporate world was no longer for me. Ran my wife's law office for 15 years and recently retired. Now we live aboard and sail the California coast, soon to leave for the Sea of Cortez.
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