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Old 08-03-2016, 10:29   #16
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Re: Sailing the Channel Islands

No, no no! The Channel Islands in the Santa Barbara Channel are a terrible place. Cold, rolly, unprotected anchorages with bad holding ground. Ugly islands, terrible murky water. No fish. Crowded anchorages. Did I mention, don't go there! I recommend nobody should go further north than Catalina.


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Old 08-03-2016, 10:34   #17
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Re: Sailing the Channel Islands

As far as anchorages, there are quite a few and choosing one depends to some degree on the weather. During the summer though, generally all of them are good. I happen to really like Forney cove, but though it is generally protected from swell, it can be breezy. Becher's Bay at Santa Rosa is beautiful and big and hiking around Santa Rosa is beautiful. You can PM me if you'd like more info on specific anchorages. Brian Fagan's book is really the bible for the place.
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:19   #18
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Re: Sailing the Channel Islands

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Originally Posted by Training Wheels View Post
No, no no! The Channel Islands in the Santa Barbara Channel are a terrible place. Cold, rolly, unprotected anchorages with bad holding ground. Ugly islands, terrible murky water. No fish. Crowded anchorages. Did I mention, don't go there! I recommend nobody should go further north than Catalina.


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Yes! Absolutely right on all counts!
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:25   #19
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Re: Sailing the Channel Islands

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Ahhh... the Channel Islands..
Slice's of heaven in a stormy sea.. Alderney, Guernsey, Jersey, Sark..


AND I would SURE love to visit those lovely Channel Islands as well!!
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:58   #20
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Re: Sailing the Channel Islands

We started going to Catalina on a cabin cruiser in the early 60's, then in 1974 I bought my first sailboat in Ventura and started going to, mostly Santa Cruz and Anacapa off and on ever since. The anchoring is almost all good, the diving can be pretty spectacular, the hiking is very nice and not too steep ( good for us because we are elderly). Thet are all year destinations too. We have a neighbor right now who is a tugboat captain in Washington and he comes down to go surfing several times each winter, as the surf is quite big on the outside, but they can return to the inside for calmer nights. The biggest downside is that no dogs are allowed ashore anymore, except on Catalina and you cannot bring an unfinished wooden cane or walking stick ashore? WTHeck? The dog thing keeps us from spending too much time there now, usually just the night we leave for farther afield or the last night before the mainland. Also, the are many, many caves on the islands accessable from the sea, but as previously noted there is, to the best of my knowledge, only one capable of taking pretty big vessels into it.
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Old 08-03-2016, 13:08   #21
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Re: Sailing the Channel Islands

I have been cruising the islands off and on since the early 60's. They are pretty nice. My only complaints are that dogs are not allowed ashore anymore, except on Catalina, and unfinished canes or walking sticks have the same restriction. Apparently they believe that either they harbor alien pests, or they might sprout roots and thus bring an alien species.
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Old 09-03-2016, 09:43   #22
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Re: Sailing the Channel Islands

The Northern Channel Islands offer great cruising, fishing, and diving. I am currently cruising them as I write this response. Given the El Nino conditions you do need to monitor the weather so as not to end up on a lee shore. Low pressure comes in from the South to SE, then clocks quickly to the west, so what had been a secure anchorage now becomes a lee shore. I highly recommend buying Brian Fagans cruising guide, "Cruising Guide to Southern California Offshore Islands." This guide will answer most of your questions.
The attached pictures were taken from Santa Cruz Island.
Smooth sailing,
Michael
S/V Ventana
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Old 09-03-2016, 10:30   #23
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Re: Sailing the Channel Islands

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The Northern Channel Islands offer great cruising, fishing, and diving. I am currently cruising them as I write this response. Given the El Nino conditions you do need to monitor the weather so as not to end up on a lee shore. Low pressure comes in from the South to SE, then clocks quickly to the west, so what had been a secure anchorage now becomes a lee shore. I highly recommend buying Brian Fagans cruising guide, "Cruising Guide to Southern California Offshore Islands." This guide will answer most of your questions.
The attached pictures were taken from Santa Cruz Island.
Smooth sailing,
Michael
S/V Ventana
Great shots Michael, were these taken a couple weeks ago? What a beautiful day. Did you get up to see the Ironwood trees there? That anchorage, Fry's, is a good example of why (almost) all folks anchor bow and stern. During the day it's nice to have the bow facing out to meet the breeze and swell that bends around the point, but at night the wind can howl down the canyon. There is not enough room, if you are anchored closer in, to let your boat swing in there especially when there are neighbors.
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Old 10-03-2016, 19:10   #24
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Re: Sailing the Channel Islands

Hi Don, those shots were taken last August. The islands are MUCH greener currently. I try to avoid a stern anchor when possible this time of year just so that I can exit more quickly if needed; further I have the winch and ground tackle to anchor well in 50' of water, so I get more swing room in many of the anchorages out here.
Sail on,
Michael
S/V Ventana
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Old 11-03-2016, 13:07   #25
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Re: Sailing the Channel Islands

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Hi Don, those shots were taken last August. The islands are MUCH greener currently. I try to avoid a stern anchor when possible this time of year just so that I can exit more quickly if needed; further I have the winch and ground tackle to anchor well in 50' of water, so I get more swing room in many of the anchorages out here.
Sail on,
Michael
S/V Ventana
Ah yes, it is pretty deep out there. And are you out right now? You have had some interesting weather between the big west swells and storms switching to the offshore winds... BTW is that a Freya 39 you have there? I have a good friend who has one up in Alameda, really nice boat!
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Old 11-03-2016, 18:24   #26
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Re: Sailing the Channel Islands

Hi Don,

Yup- I have the original fiberglass Freya that Gannon built for himself-then called the "Golden Egg" (pic attached)

Yes, been at the islands since early Feb. I now am familiar with how the low pressure systems come in and how quickly they can not only reverse the wind direction, but increase its velocity as well.

With good gear and a prudent monitoring of the weather though, you can always run to the other side of the island.

Take care,
Mike
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