Isthmus Cove (Isthmus Harbor), Santa Catalina Island

From Islapedia

Isthmus Cove, Santa Catalina Island is located at Two Harbors. It was first mapped in 1602 by Father Antonio de la Asencion, who accompanied Sebastian Vizcaino’s expedition to Alta California in 1602-1603. His map identifies Puerto de Santa Catalina as today’s Isthmus Cove. The cove is located on the island’s leeward side, facing the adjacent mainland. Opposite Isthmus Cove the harbor is identified simply as Ensenada, or Bay. Today it is named Catalina Harbor (Cat Harbor).

Isthmus Cove is second only to Avalon Harbor in boat activity on the Island. It has 242 moorings and more than 100 anchorages. Ferries from the mainland dock at the pier in Isthmus Cove. The Two Harbors Harbor Department is based here. Shore boat rides are available year-round with 24 hour-a-day service in the summer and a more limited schedule in the winter.

ISTHMUS HARBOR: “Whose shores abound with species that are rare elsewhere, Mesembryanthemum and a number of crucifers. About half a mile to the east lies Fisherman’s Cove.” [Millspaugh & Nuttall. Flora of Santa Catalina Island (1923)].

In the News~

January 15, 1927: William Wrigley, Jr. initiated the Wrigley Ocean Marathon on January 15, 1927, offering a $25,000 prize to anyone who could swim the Catalina Channel. $15,000 was offered to the first woman to finish, if the prize should be won by a man. The swim began at Isthmus Cove at 11:24 A.M. and went to the San Pedro breakwater. A rowboat accompanied each contestant, and a small fleet of powerboats remained close at hand. Of the 102 entrants, 17-year-old Canadian, George Young won the $25,000 with a crossing time of 15 hours 44 minutes, landing at Portuguese Bend at 3:08 A.M. He was the only entrant to finish the race. Two women who failed the crossing were each given $2500.

March 1944 [USNIP]: “In war time the island provides the location for a U.S. Maritime Commission training school for merchant seamen. Those trainees have the famed St. Catherine Hotel for their living quarters and they use the million-dollar Avalon Casino for their classroom work. Coast Guardsmen have a school among the palms on Isthmus Cove,” notes Lieutenant Commander Stanley A. Wheeler.