Catalina Weekend trip

Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by problematique, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. problematique

    problematique Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm trying to set up a weekend trip to Catalina Island, possibly camping. Looking for some suggestions on what to do while over there (just me and the wife). Also would like some suggestions on transportation. Good time of year to camp. Upcoming event info. I plan on arriving on a Saturday morning hopefully on a 3 day weekend.
    I'm well versed regarding the difficulties some pilots have landing on the runway, so no need to steer the conversation in that direction.
    Thanks.
     
  2. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I’ve never camped there and am unsure how much of an option that is so no advice on that.

    If you want to spend a weekend there, I’d suggest spending it in the town of Avalon. It’s touristy but a pretty nice place. There are good restaurants and bars. Fun little shops to browse and shop in. Snorkeling. Kayaking. People watching. Whale watching. And more.

    And only since you mentioned it, the rumors about the runway are exaggerated.
     
  3. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Last time I went there, we rode the ferry over from Long Beach for the day. A few folks on board said they were staying for a week! I was ready to leave by the time evening came around.

    After you ride around Avalon on a golf cart, eat lunch, visit a few shops... there’s not much else to do. Beautiful place though, I just wouldn’t feel inclined to spend more than a day there. YMMV
     
  4. Walboy

    Walboy Line Up and Wait

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    There's a shuttle that runs from the airport to Avalon...that's what I would do. Maybe book a room there.
     
  5. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Is the airport back open yet? Marines were replacing the runway and not sure of the expected duration and reopening.
     
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  6. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Seems to be NOTAM closed until the end of April for the runway work.
     
  7. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    which rumors?
     
  8. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    There are threads about this... the runway was in "fair" condition, has a pronounce hump in the middle which messes with your view of the length, and the cliff in front of it can cause some altitude interpretation issues. That's why all the clubs and operators require CFI checkouts to go there.
     
  9. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I was asking skydog.
     
  10. Jamie Kirk

    Jamie Kirk Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Airport will reopen late April. Don’t think they are fixing the hump though, just resurface.
     
  11. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Will be fascinating if @SkyDog58 answers differently.
     
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  12. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The untrue ones.
     
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  13. mr_happyland

    mr_happyland Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As others said, make sure the runway is open again before planning to fly in. As far as camping options, check out Little Harbor campground. You can take the bus from the airport to the campground BUT make sure you check the bus schedule to plan your arrival.
     
  14. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Runway? Who needs a freakin' runway to go to Avalon? These guys don't.

    :D
     
  15. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  16. JOhnH

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    All of the ones that say the runway is difficult and dangerous, of which there are many.

    But oops, I'm not Skydog either.
     
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  17. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    interesting. I've never really heard 'dangerous' before. 'difficult', meh, but I'm glad I brought an instructor with me when I landed there. I wouldn't need to again, I just thought it was the right thing to do (and for me it was). the main thing I've always heard was the CONDITION the runway was in. which, when I landed there in 2017, it was in pretty poor shape. odd that they repaved the runway if it was in such good condition. I wouldn't think they'd repave the runway if it was in good shape or just going off 'rumors' that it was in bad shape.
     
  18. problematique

    problematique Pre-takeoff checklist

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    OK thanks for the tips!
    Confirm completion of runway, check bus schedule, investigate Little Harbor campground, check out Avalon, watch out for tour float plane in area... dispel any rumors regarding landing difficulty on said runway :rolleyes: (just like I did when they said Sedona airport was tough :p)
     
  19. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I assume you mean all the southern California clubs. My club doesn't require an AVX checkout, presumably because it wouldn't be practical to do it at an airport that's 300 miles away.
     
  20. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, I was referring to the ones about it being difficult or tricky or dangerous. None of which I found to be true based on several trips over from TOA when I lived there. As to the condition of the runway, I recall it being just a little rough when I was there but nothing of real concern. But the last time I was there was in December 2010 so continued deterioration would definitely have made it much worse. So with no interim maintenance I could see it being in very poor condition in 2017.
     
  21. TCABM

    TCABM Cleared for Takeoff

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    I only go for the Catalina Wine Mixer.
     
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  22. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    I'm old enough that when I saw that web page, that old song started playing in my head. Make it stop.
     
  23. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Do you buy helicopters, play the drums, or sing?
     
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  24. jpskies

    jpskies Filing Flight Plan

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    I just heard the airport reopening ceremony will be held on Friday May 3rd, 2019. Circle the date on your calendar.