Isthmus Harbor -Catalina Island -Navigation
33░26.8'N - 118░29.3'W
Two Harbors, California USA

This page is for your general information and in no case be used for navigational purposes. Use your chart!  This one is for general reference ONLY!


From US NOAA Chart #18757. Printing Date: June 1992. Scale 1:10,000.
Soundings: Fathoms. Datum: WGS 84

Isthmus Cove, one of the "Two Harbors", is located on the north shore of Catalina, 6 miles from the West End and is 12 miles west of Avalon in the notch of the stretches from north to south.   The "bay" itself contains Big Fisherman's Cove, Little Fisherman's Cove, Isthmus itself, Fourth of July Cove and Cherry Cove.   There is a 300 foot pier that affords a depth of about 2 fathoms at its end.

Coming from the East, the approach to Isthmus Cove is unobstructed but West of the entrance, Eagle Reef lies about a quarter of a mile offshore covered by about 3 feet of water. It is marked by and dark, red buoy about 100 yards to the East of it.

From North, look for Ship Rock about 1 mile north of the cove.  It is lit at night and from the channel, looks like a 66 foot high black haystack, the top mostly white with bird guano.  Be aware of the reef lying about 120 yards South of Ship Rock and the rock at the end that uncovers about 3 feet.

Off-center in Isthmus Cove is Bird Rock reaching to a height of 37 feet and about 150 yards in length.  It's about 500 yards off the eastern shore at the entrance to the cove. (See your charts!   That's what they're for!) The rock is covered with sand and grass and reefs outcrop for more than 100 yards.

Harbor Reefs lie about 400 yards Southwest of Bird Rock and lie in a Northwest direction. These small reefs are about 450 yards long and 250 yards wide.  They're marked on the Southeast by a lit red buoy (Fl. R 4 seconds) and an unlit buoy to the west and kelp patches.  The reefs show about 2 feet at low tide in places. Great place to dive, bad place to sail.

Catalina Harbor (33o25.4' N, 118o30.8 W) on the South side of the island is a half a mile from Isthmus Cove by land, about 14.5 miles by sea around the West End and is marked by the Catalina Harbor Light (Fl. 4 seconds) that sits 400 feet above sea-level on Catalina Head on the west side of the harbor entrance.  Ballast Point is on the east side of the 800 yard wide entrance.   Pin Rock is sits inside the east head of the cove and is about 125 yards offshore and surrounded by deep water, stay clear of it.  Mooring depths are between 4 and 5 fathoms.  The harbor flattens out into shoal at the head and you should stay at least 150 yards from the kelpline.

From  Magnetic Course  Return Course  Distance Nautical Miles
Point Loma      
Oceanside 271 091 58
Dana Point 256 076 39
Newport Beach 241 061 32
Long Beach Marina (East Breakwater Light)  213 033 24.0
Long Beach Breakwater  208 028 22.5
San Pedro Breakwater 202 022 19.88
Pt. Vincente  178 358 18.6
Marina Del Rey    170 350 30
 

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