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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-10-2013 01:07 PM
Re: Channel Islands sailing

Originally Posted by Rowboat View Post
That's the Channel Islands in California, just to be clear
1. You should checkout the free cruising guide at Sail Channel Islands as well as "Coast Pilot."

2. Though the weather in the Channel Islands is benign and the averages shown in Coast Pilot seem lovely, beware. We get gale force winds and snarly seas periodically throughout the year. We also get pea soup fog from time to time. Stay on top of forecasts and pay attention to the special weather announcements on channel 16.

3. Familiarize yourself with current NOAA charts. There is a busy coastwise traffic lane that you have to transit and sailboats are not the stand-on vessels there.

4. If you want to discuss any of this, give me a call at 805.750.7828
05-09-2013 12:54 AM
Re: Channel Islands sailing

I'm a big fan of using ActiveCaptain to check stuff out. You can see reviews from other folks who've already been to the the Channel Islands. I've sailed to Catalina and posted my reviews there. It marks anchorages and marinas that other people have used with current information, and you don't need to shell out bucks for a cruising guide, or take it to work and show you're obviously dreaming about the upcoming trip.
Another great thing is you can use the chart layer to see NOAA charts of the area, you can even plot a course for your journey.

Best of all, it's free, it's really worth checking out.
05-09-2013 12:28 AM
Re: Channel Islands sailing

Originally Posted by Rowboat View Post
I plan on sailing to Santa Cruz island and anchoring at smugglers cove. That looks the most protected and seems to have a reliable sandy bottom. I don't have as much experience as a lot of you, I'm sure.
I doubt it. When I went there I was 23 and had only taken a 3 day sailing course and been sailing less than a year. We left Channel Island Marina and sailed to Smugglers in heavy wind. It was very peaceful and easy in the lee of the island and had no trouble anchoring there, good holding.

I have also been in Coches Prietos and while not the skipper then I remember it being fairly deep and sheltered.
05-09-2013 12:08 AM
Re: Channel Islands sailing

Thanks for all the replies. I will be sailing from Santa Barbara
I plan on sailing to Santa Cruz island and anchoring at smugglers cove. That looks the most protected and seems to have a reliable sandy bottom. I don't have as much experience as a lot of you, I'm sure. But I am comfortable with this charter. I have certainly sailed in tougher waters.
Glad to know about the whales. I'm hoping to see a few.
Has anyone anchored at smugglers? Looks like there is an offshore wind most nights until 2:00 AM. Any trouble here?
Also very interested in any surfing info in the area.
05-08-2013 11:38 PM
Re: Channel Islands sailing

If you want to land on Santa Cruz, here's a link for applying for landing permits:

Some of the anchorages are deep and tricky and pretty much all will have quite a bit of open exposure, so high confidence in ground tackle is a good thing.

A dinghy with a reliable motor would be useful.

San Clemente and San Nicholas are distant and restricted (military). If anchoring out, be sure you are fully legal, including all safety equipment, and aware of restrictions.
In case of emergency (medical, inclement weather, etc.)
contact the following at SCI: "Control Bravo" on Channel 16 or San Clemente Island Security at (619)524-9214
also, Naval Base Ventura County - San Nicolas Island
05-08-2013 10:10 PM
Re: Channel Islands sailing

The Northern islands are beautiful and you should be ok as far as weather goes. Keep your weather radio/vhf on it does get rough up there. The back side is mostly open depending on if we are getting a South swell running, but this is more at the end of Summer. Whales are still passing through and in the "gap" between Annacapa and Santa Cruz the blues have been known to stay all summer feeding on krill from the upwelling offshore. May gray is what we usually see this time of year, low coastal clouds burning off as the day progresses. Enjoy.

Lancer 36
05-08-2013 10:10 PM
Re: Channel Islands sailing

Second on Brian Fagan's book, don't leave home without it.
You can land on any of the 5 islands in the park.
Boating - Channel Islands National Park
05-08-2013 09:57 PM
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.
05-08-2013 08:30 PM
Re: Channel Islands sailing

Don't know much (yet) about any of the islands except Catalina. Check out Brian Fagan's Cruising guide. He has some good tips.
05-08-2013 06:38 PM
Re: Channel Islands sailing

Which islands? How experienced are you? From where are you starting?
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