42 MILES TO CATALINA
Change of Captain and Crew to take her on her last and exciting leg from Los Angeles to Catalina and the Channel Islands for a diving expedition with Doc White and then on to San Diego. Thank you to Capt Jackson Willett for your professionalism and care for the boat!
New Captain Barrett Canfield of South Coast Yachts and his daughter Grace arrived at the boat in Marina Del Rey with Doc & Ceci White and the film crew at 10am. Thank you to Denison Yachts & Naos Yachts in Marina del Rey (MDR) for cleaning her and prepping her for this final leg. After over 1000 miles, the ST47 was found to be in excellent working order with all systems running properly.
The new crew departed MDR at 12:15pm and motored back out of the channel at 5 knots into the Pacific. Leaving the MDR breakwater at 12:30, we lifted her to 2100 rpms giving 15 knots of boat speed and a course of 150 degrees toward the Isthmus at Santa Catalina Island. The seas were lightly rolling at 2-3’ and winds were light out of the northwest at 7 knots (Ideal). The Swift Trawler 47 showed her grace with a comfortable ride taking 2.5 hours on the 42 mile journey.
A pod of Risso Dolphins greeted us a mile off of Ship Rock, so we slowed to 6 knots to prepare the camera equipment. Doc White was able to shoot stills and video while the pod surfaced within 15 feet of the Swift Trawler 47. Seeing these beautiful creatures watching our moves was the start to what we will remember as an incredible Memorial Day Weekend. The sight of a baby Risso imitating a Ramora on his mother’s side made our day. It is amazing to get away from land and witness the abundance of life in the Pacific. Having the vast knowledge of Doc White aboard was an education for all of us. (I never heard of a Risso!)
Now with the ST47 safely on the hook at Two Harbors, the crew headed in to the Harbor Reef restaurant for a hearty meal. Catalina Island, a boating paradise just 24 miles off the Southern California coast is a gift if you choose to venture out. We are grateful to be anchored peacefully in one of our favorite coves.
ISTHMUS COVE SANTA CATALINA ISLAND
We have seven crew aboard and all slept comfortably on the hook through the night. Barrett and daughter Grace used the convertible salon for their stateroom and were impressed with the comfort and space. We woke at 5:30am to prepare for a 7am departure to the West to Emerald Bay for a photo and video shoot. We ran the generator for hot coffee and enjoyed that in the cockpit. The weather was overcast with a light drizzle, but the comfort at the lower helm and also on the hard top covered fly bridge was perfect. This boat is built for cruising in any weather, so this morning was a chance for us to feel her underway in less than perfect conditions. We had a short 10 knot cruise over to Emerald and proceeded beyond while Doc drove and the film crew shot footage from the photo boat (Wellcraft 290 Coastal generously volunteered and captained by Rick Day of South Coast Yachts). We will post the pictures soon of this powerful photo shoot. We promise you that they won’t be of an ST47 sitting in some beautiful tropical setting. She’s easily capable of that, but these pictures will show a sturdy cruising yacht, plowing through some challenging seas, under an ominous sky. We’ve found that she is very trustworthy and created a secure feeling for the whole crew. All systems are functioning properly. We find the cockpit and submersible swim platform very spacious.
All in all a great day aboard listening to Doc White’s stories of far off islands, unusual sea creatures, and fascinating people. 9:07 pm and secure on the hook and in our comfortable bunks.
We awoke before sunrise to a sudden change in wind and Swell direction at the Isthmus. The motion of the ST47 swung around to rolling swells from the North and a strong breeze. This crushed our plans for our photo shoot and diving video shoot against the cliffs at Emerald Bay, which was now awash with breaking waves. We watched as families dropped their moorings early after a rough night at Two Harbors and headed back to the mainland. We decided to head in and hike to the West to scout out a good dive spot, while the ST47 rode confidently on the hook in the harbor. We were looking for a calm cove with access to the kelp fields where Doc White could dive and photograph the sea life. We found a headland west of our anchorage that was protected from the blowing northerly and then returned to the boat to lift anchor and head to our new anchorage. Before departing we opened the engine room hatch to check fluids and give a visual inspection. All systems were in order. Upon arrival at our new location, we realized that this was the perfect spot for our underwater diving shoot. The dive team (Doc and Demi) and videographers were pleased with the ST47's submersible swim platform making it a breeze to dive from the boat. After three days with 7 people aboard, we are at 63% fresh water capacity. We are finding the standard tankage sufficient. The crew enjoyed a cocktail on the fly bridge at sunset and discussed today's diving experience before heading in to the Harbor Reef restaurant for our final dinner of this leg. We plan to rise at 5am for a run to Avalon for a drone shoot off of Descanso beach at sunrise. Good night from the grateful crew of the #SwiftPacificAdventure.
THE FINAL LEG
Looking at the last day of our 1000 mile adventure aboard the new Beneteau Swift Trawler 47, we set our alarms early for a 5am engine start (4:30 coffee in her spacious galley). Sitting on the hook up against a cliff in Cherry Cove, we fired up the twin 425hp Cummins diesels that have run flawlessly from Seattle. Since we were tucked into a protected small cove, we used the bow and stern thrusters to push us sideways away from the rock cliff and then spun her with the engines to point us toward the sunrise over the mainland. The film crew wanted perfect light to capture the rising sun on the coast of Catalina, so they positioned themselves on deck as Doc White lifted her up to 12 knots which is a steadfast and efficient cruise. We ran down the north side of the island to Long Point where we launched the drone for footage of this beautiful boat running along the barren coast in the golden hour of morning. The iconic Descanso Beach and then the Casino at Avalon were the last points of interest to photograph for Doc and Cici before we set a waypoint 70 miles away across open ocean to Point Loma and the entrance to San Diego Bay. We lifted the Swift 47 to 17 knots and 2550 rpms for a faster run. The following seas rose up to meet our stern at 5-6 feet, giving the ST47 and crew a fun ride with bursts to 22 knots down the face of the waves. A few surfers on board were “hootin’ and hollerin’ as the boat seemed to trim itself as she surfed. This went on for four hours until we were off of Sunset Cliffs and had to back her down to be aware of, and avoid the thick kelp beds off Point Loma. We backed her to 12 knots to round the point into San Diego. On this last leg today we were at most, 60 miles from the coast, but we were out of sight of land. Seeing a 360 degree horizon on any boat reminds you of how small you are on the vast ocean. Trusting what is keeping you on the surface is a thought that comes to mind at sea and the confidence of the Swift Trawler 47 and the way she rides calms your nerves. Doc & Cici White had a mostly young crew aboard that they were responsible for. Getting them safely to the next port, while educating them about the wonders of the life in the Pacific was their goal and the new boat delivered as they expected she would. The Swift Pacific Adventure was all that she promised. A stately and efficient cruising yacht. An accomplished and adventurous couple who love to educate the young and old on the vast life below and above the surface of the great Pacific Ocean.
The boat now lies securely at the docks of South Coast Yachts in San Diego, being detailed and awaiting her debut at the San Diego International Boat Show, June 6th-9th.
Note: Just so we could account for the top speed, we put the hammer down on the flat SD Bay and she rode confidently at 25.6 knots.