Here's an email
we sent them about our experiences with the rest of the CA coast:
* Crescent City - it's a bit of a dump. However, it's the only port in a couple hundred miles either direction without a bar to cross so you might have to come in here if the seas are up. You can anchor in the harbor. The marina got clobbered in the tsunami so I doubt you can tie up there anymore. On the off chance that you can, mind the entrance. Lots of people run aground on the breakwater side.
We went from Crescent City straight to SF, skipping Eureka (sounds interesting, bar at the entrance) and Ft. Bragg/Noyo River (tight entrance). Really wanted to get past Cape Mendocino in a decent weather window. And then we ran straight from SF to Newport Beach
. We skipped a few anchorages that I'd like to hit next time. Half Moon Bay and Monterrey would have been cool to see but probably would have required marina stays. I don't remember those spots offering much protection. Morro Bay looks like a solid anchorage. Supposedly, there's an anchorage right behind Point Conception. We thought about stopping but we were doing fine so we kept going. We were told that early early morning is the best time to round Pt. Conception to avoid getting your butt kicked. We had an easy trip and a nice sunrise. Santa Barbara Channel is famous for some big wind
. I was happy to leave it behind us.
* Santa Barbara - the "anchorage" sucks and the marina is brimming with assholes.
* Channel Islands - I wish we would have gone here. The problem is that there's no solid anchorages so you're hopping anchorages based on where the wind is. But, it's much more cool and deserted than Catalina Island
. Next time we'll try to go here if we can.
* Catalina Island
is kinda cool but it's *completely* opposite of the experience you're having now. There's a huge field of mooring
balls that you tie to fore and aft. Boats are packed in like sardines and expect to pay $40/night for the privilege
. But the town is a pretty cool spot. We went up to Two Harbors expecting to anchor but unless you want to anchor in 100ft, you're stuck on mooring balls there too. This place was the first time we ever jumped off our boat into the water
. Cold as hell but we were pretty drunk so that helped. There's supposed to be some good hiking and if we spent more time here we probably would have hit the trails a little more.
* Newport Beach
- I really liked Newport
. It's like Disneyland for the stupid wealthy. The harbor is a bizarre playground of yachts and waterfront homes. You can anchor for free for 5 days in their very small anchorage. Just know that your boat will be used as a rounding mark for all the dinghy
races. You can also grab fore and aft mooring balls for really cheap
. I think off season they run $5/night. There's a nice library on the beach side next to a laundromat. Remind me to look in our log to tell you where the secret dinghy landing ladder to get to the grocery store is. If you need any stuff from a chandlery
, try to hold off until you get to Newport
. Minney's is like Second Wave only organized and useful. Tons of used marine hardware
. Super bonus: actual Disneyland is a short bus ride away.
* San Diego - They aren't kidding about kelp around the entrance to the harbor. Best to run well south of Cabrillo Pt. (I think that's what its called) before heading inside the entrance buoys. Find out what the anchorage regulations
are for all the different anchorages because the harbor police will enforce them, holy crap. If you can anchor in Glorietta Bay, it's a nice spot with a less traffic. There's a good dinghy dock
and Coronado Island is cool and really walkable. The hotel
is awesome and there's a great beach. There's a good library with all the wifi
you can stand. Anchorage #9 is off the east end of Harbor Island and is where they stick all the out of town cruisers. It's not the quietest place in the world but fairly central. If you can, try to score a slip on the police docks - super cheap. If you're there after the HaHa leaves, you shouldn't have a problem. If you need a chandlery
here, go to Downwind Marine
. These guys are awesome. They are all about cruisers going to Mexico
. They are also a good source if you need something while in Mexico
. They know how to ship stuff down there without it getting stolen.