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Old 28-11-2014, 10:50   #1
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Anchorages between San Francisco and San Diego

I'm going to be sailing from the San Francisco Bay to San Diego next week! ! I'm looking for all possible anchorages and local knowledge about getting around point conception and the various harbor entrances. I will be sailing a Haida 26 with one passenger and will be buddy boating with one or two other boats. Thank for all info!
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Old 28-11-2014, 11:22   #2
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Re: Anchorages between San Francisco and San Diego

Morro Bay or Port San Luis are the standard stopping and kick off points for a Pt Conception rounding. It let's you wait and watch for a nice weather window with an easy ETA to the point. You have 7 days of free anchoring in each location and Morro Bay has services Port San Luis I would consider just an anchorage...a pretty place but services for a transient yacht frankly suck.

We live aboard a Morro Bay mooring and as a SSCA Cruising host station will be happy to run you around town and be of any help we can. Just email me at svthirdday@yahoo.com or give me a call at 619-609-3432.
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Old 28-11-2014, 11:47   #3
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Re: Anchorages between San Francisco and San Diego

Get a copy of Brian Fagan's cruising guide to Central and Southern California. Has the info you are looking for.
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Old 28-11-2014, 12:10   #4
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Re: Anchorages between San Francisco and San Diego

when you get to parallelling lost angeles, go to catalina for anchoring, as lost angeles aint got anchorages. none to dana point. oh, i forgot to mention you can get a 3 day permit for white island at long beach, but i believe ye have to go to the police station in shoreline marina for the permit.
in san diego there are anchorages, but ye need to go to the police docks to obtain the needed permits for either 30 days x3, maximum, or for 3 days only x 3 or 4, as i recall, unless that was changed since 2011.
you can call them on 16 vhf
there are 3 fuel docks in north san diego bay. check your cruising guide for san diego or google it. or ask.
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Old 28-11-2014, 14:29   #5
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Re: Anchorages between San Francisco and San Diego

Jim, the first thing I would recommend is to buy a copy of the coast pilot. Charlies charts are very poor , and regular charts (paper or electronic) make much more sense with the addition of the coast pilot. You only indicate that you are going south (maybe coming back up?) Are you on a (the dreaded) schedual? Do you have a reliable inboard with lots of fuel, an outboard that will work in some conditions, and not in others, or are you pure sail? Do you have good ground tackle, and know how to use it? You mention buddy boating. That means adjusting to the slowest boat and/or the least experienced crew. Sorry to ask so many questions, but how you are planning at this point, will make it easier to get realistic advice from myself and others. Most people make Half Moon Bay (Pillar Point Harbor) their first stop . It is just under 30 miles from SF, and from there you have different options, depending on what time you leave Pillar Point, and if you have an engine, also if you have radar and are willing to leave in the fog. I have left Pillar Point as late as 11 AM due to fog, and knew I wasnt going to make Santa Cruz by nightfall, so I tucked behind the reef at Ano Nuevo. The under water reef (you cant see it at all) gives good protection against the swell, but not the wind. Good holding. If you carry on to Santa Cruz, and arrive after dark, it is easy to anchor just east of the boardwalk, but you will want to set a stern hook to keep from rolling all night. Monterey after dark is easy to anchor east of the main pier. From Monterey most boats make a run for Morro Bay, but there are several anchorages in between that if the wind is steady, and out of the NW make interesting overnight stops. I learned about them from the local fish boats. A few miles past Point Sur is Phieffer Cove, which the coast pilot describes very well, but most sailors dont like it because it is a beautiful, but lonely spot. If the wind kicks up from the NW, the cove fills up with fishing boats that want to get a good nights sleep. It is my favorite anchorage on the west coast. From there you will head for Morro Bay, but again, if you are not going to make it by dark, or if the weather reports say it is closed out, you can stop in San Simeon for a good nights sleep. If you cant get into Morro Bay when you arrive, then you can go on down to Port San Louis and anchor. From there you are headed for Point Conception which is not nearly as scary as people make it out to be. Make sure you pay attention to weather reports before you leave Morro Bay, or Port san Louis, and if it reports really nasty weather, simply dont go until it gets better. You will get all kinds of advice about Conception. Everything from GO TWENTY MILES OUT, to never do it in less than a 40 foot boat. A bunch of nonsense. I have done it 15 or more times, and not gone out more than 5 or 6 miles, and had some thrills, but not been in any danger. Of course I have waited in Coho anchorage if needed, untill weather got better. From Coho south, the guide books are all good. I have only mentioned anchorages, and other than Santa Cruz, and Monterey, I would not enter any of them after the sun was low, but if you are cold and tired they can be a wonderful rest stop as opposed to a long cold overnight sail. If you want to sail or motorsail from marina to marina, then any of the up to date guide books will do fine, but keep in mind that when you buddy boat your decision making will be subject to everybody elses ideas of how long they want to carry on, or what harbor they want to enter after dark. After my long winded recommendations, you will probably get much conflicting advice, and sift through it all, and decide for yourself. Best of Luck, and enjoy a great cruise. ______Grant.
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Old 28-11-2014, 15:04   #6
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Re: Anchorages between San Francisco and San Diego

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Jim, the first thing I would recommend is to buy a copy of the coast pilot...._Grant.
Can get that free (in PDF format):United States Coast Pilot®

Prefer Fagan's book however. Much easier to read and designed for cruisers.
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Old 28-11-2014, 15:33   #7
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Re: Anchorages between San Francisco and San Diego

The only problem with Fagin is that he'll scare you away from just about every anchorage he's written about! It's nice to know what might go wrong, but that doesn't mean things WILL. The Channel Islands have some excellent anchorages, from Cuyler Harbor, to Bechers Bay, Pelican, Smuggler's, Willows, Prisoner's, etc. I wouldn't expect much in an anchorage at Catalina, all the good spots were turned into moorings thirty years ago. But this can be good if you want to leave the boat for a night in town. Dana Point does too have an anchorage, but it's rather small, and subject to surge from the south.
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Old 28-11-2014, 16:11   #8
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Re: Anchorages between San Francisco and San Diego

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T..Dana Point does too have an anchorage, but it's rather small, and subject to surge from the south.
You can stay for 72 hrs deep inside Dana Point harbor near the Pilgrim where it is as flat as a mill pond. Small area and crowded in summer, but very nice. You can also anchor in South part of harbor by the bait barge (noisy however). The outside anchorage (South of harbor) was greatly reduced in size by harbor police a couple years ago (when they extended their 5 MPH zone, within which you cannot anchor), forcing everyone using that anchorage out into rougher waters. 72 hour limit out there too.
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Old 28-11-2014, 17:42   #9
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Re: Anchorages between San Francisco and San Diego

I have spent up to a month in the channel islands and loved it. I also anchored on the west side of Catalina on a delivery from Hawaii. I dont remember the name of the anchorage, but it was just across the isthmus from another anchorage (darned old memory). Coming in from Hawaii and knowing that we were going to reach the mainland in the middle of the night, we pulled into Catalina and anchored, had a great dinner, showers, cleaned up the boat and slept like the dead. We arrived at the coast refreshed and clean. I never pass up the chance for a decent nights sleep, especially if it is an upwind slog. I am glad to see that you can download the coast pilot. I think it is essential for a coastal cruise. I hope the OP has a great time. ______Grant.
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Old 28-11-2014, 17:53   #10
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Re: Anchorages between San Francisco and San Diego

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I also anchored on the west side of Catalina on a delivery from Hawaii. I dont remember the name of the anchorage, but it was just across the isthmus from another anchorage (darned old memory). ..__Grant.

Catalina Harbor (or "Cat" Harbor) just across the isthmus and town of Two Harbors from Isthmus Cove on the East side. About the best of Southern California boating.
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Old 28-11-2014, 19:08   #11
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Re: Anchorages between San Francisco and San Diego

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Originally Posted by Jim Edmark View Post
I'm going to be sailing from the San Francisco Bay to San Diego next week! ! I'm looking for all possible anchorages and local knowledge about getting around point conception and the various harbor entrances. I will be sailing a Haida 26 with one passenger and will be buddy boating with one or two other boats. Thank for all info!
Brian Fagans Book.

Numerous anchorages on Santa Cruz Island.

Cat Harbor on Catalina. Many anchorages on the front side of Catalina. The closer to the East end normally exposed to less swell. Two Harbors is deep indented so is protected as well. Whites is mid island and good. Most of the anchorages on Catalina are filled with moorings. Local knowledge gets you remaining anchorages. At Whites you can pretty much anchor outside the Morring bouys and be fine.


Inside Whites Inlands off Long Beach - have anchor there several times over the past couple of years for a quick protected overnight anchorage. Just anchor.

Mariners Cove in Misson Bay San Diego. Turn left as soon as you can before going under any bridges.

Numerous anchorages in San Diego Bay.

Regards

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Crazy Fish - Maintaining, Upgrading and Sailing a Crealock 37 | SV Crazy Fish
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Old 28-11-2014, 19:42   #12
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Re: Anchorages between San Francisco and San Diego

To the OP,

The southbound trip can be done all in one go, if you go watch on watch. And since you are in harmony with the wind and current, you will find Pt. Concepcion unchallenging. It will be the northbound trip, up current and upwind on which you will want to do day hops. How we used to make the trip north was to leave about midnight from Pt. Concepcion, because the wind abates then, and then proceed to Morro Bay. You'll be glad of the hospitality there after a long day's beat.

One other anchorage, which I did not see mentioned, is south of Monterey, Stillwater Cove, adjacent to the Pebble Beach Golf Course. We had a couple of lovely stays there.

Ann
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Old 28-11-2014, 21:16   #13
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Re: Anchorages between San Francisco and San Diego

There are a couple of very nice anchorages in Los Angeles harbor. One just outside the marina breakwater off the first Marina near San Pedro. Just inside the outer breakwater. Another nice anchorage just outside Shoreline Village next to the oil island off Bellmont Shore. Also, inside the outer breakwater.
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Old 28-11-2014, 22:07   #14
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Re: Anchorages between San Francisco and San Diego

You are welcome in Newport Beach at our public anchorage in Newport Harbor. No charge for stays up to 5 days. Visitors page of City's website includes harbor guide. Let me know if you need more information.


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Old 30-11-2014, 04:55   #15
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Re: Anchorages between San Francisco and San Diego

What hasn't been mentioned is that all the anchorages such as Santa Cruz, Pfeiffer, San Simeon, Port San Luis and Cojo are usable when the wind is from the NW but offer little protection during winter storms with south wind. On the Central Coast only Morro Bay is enclosed and protects from all wind directions. At the Santa Barbara Channel Islands I think Cuyler Harbor at San Miguel Island and Fry's Harbor at Santa Cruz Island might be OK during a storm.
Concerning Conception don't worry too much. I have been around it a dozen times in my 24 foot boat. I usually pass one mile offshore of Pt. Arguello then head for Conception, 10 miles ahead. Below Arguello the wind often builds to 30 knots for awhile so be ready to reef before you get out of control. Cojo anchorage is two miles east of Conception and if you arrive in the evening it may be almost calm.
All traveling from SF down to Conception can be windy. Expect 18 to 22 knots on your tail with waves of 6-8 feet. If you can handle this without difficulty rounding Conception will not be much different.
If you are traveling in December the hours of daylight will be short. I wouldn't recommend entering any of the unlighted anchorages in the dark. I leave Morro Bay in the dark in order to reach Cojo with daylight. Small boats don't travel so fast and its 60 miles.
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