Santa Cruz Island Report (long) - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 4 Old 08-06-2009 Thread Starter
Senior Member
montenido's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Los Angeles area
Posts: 323
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 9
Santa Cruz Island Report (long)

Hi all, well we made it back to port yesterday after launching Sunday morning. My wife begged off at the last minute, so it was just me and my 14 year-old twin boys. As we were heading dead into the wind from Channel Islands Marina, we motored over using the main only. The wind near the island was getting up near 20 knots so we decided to change destinations and go to the East end to a place called Smuggler's. Anchored several times before finding the right spot (inexperience).

Once on the hook, the boys jumped into the dinghy (11' inflatable, 8hp) and started buzzing around. I managed to kick a cleat bare-footed and had a badly discolored and swollen toe. Nice. We explored on shore where I found a new fender with rope, 3' long by about 1' diameter among the flotsam and jetsom. We had a very bumpy night and decided to make our original destination, Prisoner's Harbor in the morning.

The next morning the breeze was up a bit and I decided to pull anchor and head to our new spot as the boys slept. First mistake of many was not to check the weather report. I didn't want to wake the boys so I headed out. As I rounded the island and became less sheltered the wind started increasing. My second mistake was that in addition to towing the dinghy, I decided to tow the kayak. As I motored my way north the wind steadily increased as our hull speed decreased. As my speed dropped from 5+ knots to barely 1 knot, I knew that I had problems. One of them was that part of my head sail was catching wind and coming unfurled. No way to fix that so I tried raising the main, thinking that I would tack out to the east, and then west toward my destination. It was apparent very quickly that this was not a good idea. Wind was now clocking on my meter at 25+ knots. Recognizing that I was in a bit of trouble I turned around and headed downwind and back to my original spot. Man was I glad to be back in the lee of the island

The rest of the trip went well, but the morning that we were to leave it was once again howling at 20+ knots on what would be a beam reach. I switched out my 150 genoa to a regular jib before pulling the anchor. By the time we left, it had calmed to about 15 knots. I was still a little spooked by the day before so I started out with the main only, reefed at the first position. We motored the whole way back and still made 6-7 knots.

I know this is long and I appreciate anybody who has stuck around this long. Normally, I can sail in these winds. 20+ is starting to get interesting, but no problem. I guess that towing the dinghy and kayak complicated things, and having my sons sleeping made it a bit more sketchy for me. One thing is that when I sail in conditions such as these, I always learn something. My main lessons would be the obvious - ALWAYS check the weather, always secure the kayak (and maybe the dinghy), always have a plan "B" and "C" just in case.

Overall, a great trip. The boys never really knew that I was sh#tting bricks for a moment there. Next time out will be easier and better managed. BTW, got some great pics from the boys up in the bosun's seat.

Thanks for reading. Input is always welcome.


Odyssey, '79 CSY 44 Cutter
Channel Islands, CA

"There is no unhappiness like the misery of sighting land (and work) again after a cheerful, careless voyage."
Mark Twain

Last edited by montenido; 08-06-2009 at 12:41 AM. Reason: addition
montenido is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 4 Old 08-10-2009
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 17
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Thanks for the report, Santa Cruz Island is on my list of places to visit.

Booda is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 4 Old 08-10-2009
camaraderie's Avatar
Join Date: May 2002
Location: East Coast
Posts: 13,877
Thanks: 0
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Rep Power: 17
Nice report Bill...glad you ended up all safe and sound. Lessons learned without visible damage are the best kind!

No longer posting. Reach me by PM!
camaraderie is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 4 Old 08-11-2009
JungleJim's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Charlestown, MA
Posts: 57
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
Thanks for the update Bill. Where does Santa Cruz rate for you in the Channel Is?
JungleJim is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Morning Light" movie, anyone... DrB General Discussion (sailing related) 56 10-29-2008 03:04 PM
How long is long enough? YodaMouse Living Aboard 40 09-25-2008 10:10 PM
How long to build skills?? Win Cruising & Liveaboard Forum 34 05-10-2008 03:39 PM
Confused about overhangs... msl Boat Review and Purchase Forum 15 09-23-2003 06:17 PM
benefit race in the Long Beach, Ca area sailingscott Racing 0 06-18-2001 08:35 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome