Re: Channel Islands sailing
Without answering the questions asked about your experience or departure point I will tell you what I know.
Catalina is the only developed Island, with two harbors with some places to see and things to do and tons of moorings. "Ain't never been there but tell me it's nice" The easiest way to get there is to leave from Long Beach. But any harbor from Dana Point to Marina del Rey will get you there in a days sailing.
I have more experience with the Northern Islands. You could sail to Catalina then Santa Barbara Island then the Northern Islands. If you want a more rustic cruise start in either Santa Barbara or Ventura or Oxnard and sail out to Santa Cruz Island in a day. You can pass Anacapa Island on the way there, which is interesting to look at but without great anchorages. Lots of different anchorages on Santa Cruz, with Santa Rosa and San Miguel further out to the East. Most of the islands are private with no facilities. I believe part of Santa Cruz has a National park on it, but access to most of the islands is limited. I have only been out a few times to Santa Cruz and never on holidays but have never seen more than 3 boats in an anchorage. Its just lonely remote and beautiful.
With 10 days I would leave Long Beach, go to Catalina for 2-3 days, 1 day sail to Santa Barbara, then 1 long day sail to Santa Cruz Island explore the Northern Islands a few days, Sail to Santa Barbara for a day then back to Long Beach.
West Wight Potter 14 "Lemon Drop"
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