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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Catalina Rendezvous 2016, Roche Harbor WA

Catalina Rendezvous 2016

Written by:  Count Enrico Ferrari
s/v Jah Mon, C-42

This article shows what a Catalina Rendezvous can be like.  If you don't know what one is, just give a look at the photos and maybe read some of the text.

If you care to see older rendezvous:

click here for 2015

click here for 2014

click here for 2013

click here for 2012

You will find many smiling faces and yours could be in the next iteration of this event, should you attend next year.

Start with some photos of the attendees.  Most of the photos are from Deon our designated photographer.  If your boat is not shown here and you were there, you know who to talk to.

C-40 Sequel with Bev and Doug

C-34 with Jim and Karen on Meerkat

C-42 Linje Akevitt, with Mike and Joyce and family.

C-30 Summer Ice with Dillis and Tom

C-42 Solaria with Rita, Ken and Madison

C-42 Elara with Mari and David

C-42 Je T'aime II with Kelcey and Rob

C-34 with Mary and Dave

C-40 Seaquel with Geary and Lois

C-47 with Bruce,Beverly and Hugh

C-47 with Claire and Gary

C-42 Jah Mon with Count Enrico, Lori, Patrick and Bill

C-42 Comocean with Sonia and Greg

C-32 with Joe and Patti

C-42 Tehillah with Hailey (dock girl)
and Deon and Don

C-32 Invitation II with Casey and Betty

C-42 Satarie with Anne and John

C-30 Mocha with Craig and Patti

The weekend at Roche Harbor was booked a year in advance for this event.  We asked for the last weekend of low season rates and this year it was May 5-8.  Since we had booked this weekend for two previous years it was awarded to us again.

Description of Roche Harbor Marina:

The three night rate for a 42’ boat was $126 or a $1 a foot (included power and garbage), which goes up over double on holiday weekends.  This is a VERY fancy dock destination!

Amenities go on and on with up to 20 dock staff to take care of one’s every need.

The staff was apprised of the expected attendance which was 36 boats so they set up a 60’ x 30’ heated tent with tables, chairs, BBQs, garbage cans everywhere, with Hailey to take our money coming out to us!  This was no charge to our group for all this!

Ashore there are all manner of comforts and resources.  Pool access goes with your moorage along with a 20% discount on items at the clothing/gift store.  There is a chandlery, hotel, grocery store (very complete), several showers and individual heads, Burgers/Donuts café on the dock, Spa, sidewalk vendors, Sculpture Art Garden, Mausoleum, a short walk to a Gin distillery, and if you want to walk the docks to check out boats there must be 15-20 80’ boats that stay there year round along with assorted shorter boats that are just as polished.

Scenic Sunset at Roche Harbor.
Perfect weather!

Description of Attendees:

22 boats and crews showed up and those that didn’t come missed out on perfect weather in near cloudless skies with temperatures in the upper 70s.  Nearly all sizes showed with 2@ 47’,  10? @42’, 2@ 40’, 2@ 34’, 2@ 32’  3@ 30’ 1@ 28’.

All levels of experience came with those boats from racers with decades of experience, world wide cruiser liveaboards, owners who had owned their boats since 1990 in the NW, families with small children, and one couple (nameless for now) who just purchased their first boat (47’!) 6 months ago and are living aboard in Seattle (they took a LOT of notes).

The boats came equally from BC and the USA.  It is closer to Roche Harbor from Vancouver Island than it is from all the homeports in the US that attended.

Sue and Brad came over on the ferry to check out the Rendezvous scene.  Their boat, Ruffian, was in the yard having some work done.

Those boats that signed up and didn’t show will try harder next year to get here after reading about this.

The one feature that all had in common was a smile on their faces!

Group Photo 2016

The boats!
Catalinas of many sizes

Comments from Attendees:

Linje Akevitt "We had a great time and look forward to next year.  We were sorry to have to leave early, would be better if we could avoid Mother’s Day weekend next year but understand the trade-off between good weather and lower moorage rates."   

Sea Mistress:  "We all had a great time and it was nice to meet and chat. The Customs presentation was excellent!"

Tehillah:  "I had a great time and loved every minute. See you next year!"

Peace:  "Great fun as always. Really enjoyed the disc golf! The customs and coast
guard auxiliary inspections were great as well. Will join in on the dingy
parade next year for sure. Also, noticed there were a lot people
interested in cycling so the bike shop will contribute something nice for
the raffle prizes. Wendy will also prepare a talk on pet first aid while
cruising. Cant wait for next year! "

Satarie:  "  We really enjoyed the event, especially the dinghy decorations and the customs presentation.  Unfortunately we did not take in the other presentations.  The Happy Hours and pot luck dinner were also most enjoyable and the door prizes a good extra.
It was also very nice to meet the other Catalina owners and guests.   The weather was perfect and the off season price for moorage is a big hit."

Mocha:  "The winch rebuild demo was appreciated, I inspected my three self-tailing winches on Thursday and found they had be done recently. Whomever did them was very liberal with grease, so I removed more lubrication than I added. So, thanks again for the refresher and motivation to take a look at them.

Whisper:   "First time to Roche - what a great time we had!  What a beautiful spot to host.  So well organized - something for everyone - and time to relax..We will be back next year!"

Bonus article from Willy off of Whisper:

Willy the writing Bichon checking the scene!

 Hi folks, Willy here.  My people are Mike and Lise and I'm their 12 year old (Bichon Frise breed of dog), who travels quite a lot with them.  For the most part when I tag along (or wag along) I do it joyfully, cause I just want to hang out with them, but sometimes they surprise me.

 Like this past weekend, we went sailing and my sniffer told me we stopped at two marinas along the way that we had been to before - Telegraph Harbour Marina on Thetis Island, and Maple Bay Marina on Maple Bay.  So there was really nothing out of the ordinary till we continued on after Maple Bay..

 New smells, blue skies, and light winds (I'm not a fan of winds that blow dogs off chains!)  What more could a dog wish for?  Well wait, it gets better.

 When we got to our destination, there were about 6 guys, all smiling, ready to help us tuck into our slip. "Well this is a friendly bunch" I told myself.  And indeed they were.  Turned out we were at a Catalina Rendez Vous in Roche Harbour Marina from the Thursday to Sunday, May 5 to 8th.

 We were soon greeted by the host boat, Jah Mon, by Count Enrico and his lovely wife Lori (who's a real beauty; after all I am a guy dog).  I could tell she was an animal lover.  When we walked into the event tent for Happy Hour the first night, my people asked if I could join in (as I'm not a big fan of staying on the boat by myself - I know I'm a big suck but that's what makes me loveable). Well Lori invited me with open arms!  And the rest is history.  I got to tag along at different functions, which made everyone more relaxed.  What a great weekend!

 And different functions there were; something for everyone.  I personally thought my people should have made an effort and decorated our dinghy for the dinghy parade. Next year I hope..

Not only was it a great weekend for my people, but I got to meet several dogs who came along for the ride: lots of different breeds, and all pretty cool dudes.  I even met another Willy, and a Daisy (that's my girlfriend's name back home).

 In particular, I loved the walks around town, the Art Sculptor park, the little church on the hill, the quaint little shops, and lots of benches and places to sit along the way.

 I overheard my people mention several times that this will be a definite yearly event.  Spreading the word to other Catalina owners will be easy for them - they've already mentioned it to a few people now that we're home again.  Apparently next year someone will give a talk on Pet First Aid when sailing!

In my world, this group deserves two paws up (which is full marks folks).

 Happy Sailing!

Description of weather conditions:

This weather report is pretty easy, it was 90+% cloud free skies with temps in the 70s for the entire event.

We even had a visit from the Northern Lights around 11:30 Saturday night.  Winds were light and variable. 

A couple of boats had winds over 20 knots with exciting sailing en-route on Wednesday and Thursday but most encountered flat water and fair winds.

Agenda for the Rendezvous:


Sign UP: (on Arrival)

Treasure Hunt:  Devised by Rick of Camelot (C-42)  Check list of needed items available at the tent or on Camelot.  Award/s on Saturday night.

Tender Parade:  Grab an entry form, fill out when entering on Saturday.
Award/s on Saturday night.

Coast Guard Inspections:  Late sign-up is OK for a Coast Guard Auxiliary inspection (free), on Saturday.  (We had 13 inspections and no one was in handcuffs!)

Disc Golf outing:  A fun outing to the disc golf course of 18 holes.

Appy Hour  In the Party Tent   around 16:30   BYOB and snacks to share
Appy Hour
Door Prizes to Ken and Rita Fischer of Solaria in exchange for drawing tickets.  Each prize gets a ticket to win. Trade a gift for a ticket!


10:00 AM
Winch Rebuild demonstration, aboard Jah Mon.  Arrive early to get a good spot to see how it is done.  About an hour.

Watching the winch rebuild on Jah Mon as demo'ed by The Count.


Disc Golf with Count Enrico of Jah Mon (roughly 3 hours) about a one mile walk to the course near the airport.  spare discs available.  

Appy Hour In the Party Tent around 16:30,  BYOB and snacks to share
Appy Hour food just kept coming in!



Customs presentation, open to all, no need to sign up.  In the tent.

Coast Guard Auxiliary inspections, sign up the registration tent to be sure and get a spot.  This is free of charge and a good thing to do.  All day long. 

Provisioning with Lois Long of Seaquel leading the discussion.  To be held in a tent.

Plumbing discussion:  Bring your problems and solutions and gremlins.  Group discussion in a tent.

Tender parade with creative decor.  Judging forms available at the check in. Volunteers needed for runners, scorers, and judging.  See Don (lead Judge) or Bill  (Dock Tender Director)

Saturday Potluck, no need to sign up just bring your favorite food to the tent/s on Saturday around 18:30.  Several BBQs will be available on the dock provided by the marina.

Door Prizes awarded:  After dinner the drawing will be held.  If you bring a prize you will get a ticket to be drawn at random for a gift of some sort that was brought just for this event!

Sunday Morning  Coffee on the dock and fond farewells

Favorite Events: (in no particular order)

The Decorated Tender Contest (First Annual)

This was a big hit even though there were only 3 contestants.  These three went all out in décoration.  Next year it is anticipated to be a real fight for attention.

The Head Judge, Don of Tehilliah appointed 3 other judges, a scorekeeper and official photographer.

The Dock Captain, Bill off Jah Mon, collected entry forms that declared the theme of décoration, name of mothership, name of tender, and captain of tender.  That form then went to the MC (Count Ferrari) who read the information the cheering crowd.

 The form then went to the judges who scored Creativity, Execution, and Crowd Appeal.  That decision was very close as all three were well done.

The top three decorated tenders.
It's About Time, Seaquel, and Jah Mon were the motherships.

Customs talk:

Customs Officer Jim Specht had a one hour presentation for the large turnout on the duties, history, and workings of the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).  It was VERY informative and presented in a great manner.  He got a lot of applause and many favorable comments after the talk. 

A fun fact garnered from this was to find out that Roche Harbor CBP checks in 70% of the boats that check into the 5 ports of entry in Washington State.

Customs and Border Patrol talk.
Officer Jim Specht

Provisioning:  Tips, Tricks, and Trash:

This was organized by Lois of Seaquel (C-40) and well attended.  She prepared a great brochure for the attendees.  Again, many positive comments were heard as all shared information on this critical topic.

Lois leading the Provisioning discussion.

‘Appy Hour:

Two nights in a row we shared tasty hors d'oeuvres that really took the place of dinner for many.   The tent was buzzing with good conversations and laughter.

Pot Luck Dinner:

This is always an amazing collection of tasty dishes and guarantees too much food.  One tries to  sample it all.   What can be better than good food and happy people!
Too much  good food Potluck

Decorated Tender awarded First, Second, and Third

Bring a gift get a gift exchange between boats.

Treasure hunt awarded First and Second.

Drawing for commercial donations, including the grand prize of a huge haulout discount for up to a 50’ boat ( you buy the paint as there are too many options ), two smaller discounts, and a free night at Roche Harbor Marina.

Support for our rendezvous:

Seaview North and West Boatyards (Bellingham and Seattle):  Donated serious discounts for haulouts.  A favored prize!

Roche Harbor Market: Donated a very nice canvas bag for each boat

 Donated bag from Roche Harbor Market put to good use!

Roche Harbor Marina Donated a free night on the dock

Cap Sante Marina (Anacortes):  Donated a carry bag with lots of goodies in them for each boat

Eye candy for Catalina owners


  1. Thanks, Count! This is a great summary, complete with photos, of the fun we had at the rendezvous. Hopefully, more participants next year! We'll spread the word down south.
    Admiral Lois Long
    s/v Seaquel (with an A)

  2. As first timers we were suitably impressed. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. It was our first time to Roche (actually first time into the states with the boat �� The winch demo was great for refresher and I personally loved the provisioning lecture. The brochure was first class and something I could never accomplish. Very impressed.
    We will spread the word with the Catalina's in our club and look forward to renewed acquaintances next year.
    If anyone would like detailed information on Desolation, Doug and I would be pleased to do a presentation on that.
    Admiral Bev Burr
    S/V Sequel (without the a ) lol.