Santa Barbara Channel is specifically off-limits at many companies, mine included. We're also barred from using anything but the Western Approach when coming in/out of SFO. Now, I work tankers which tend to be more conservative in this regard, but you still see many container ships using SBC, particularly when running coastwise, although an APL ship I worked on a few years ago did transit it when coming in from Japan
It's silly because SBC has a TSS whereas the Channel Islands route
is still kinda a free-for-all with the traffic less organized and the added goofiness of the Navy
deciding that's the best area to do their exercises while routing us in all different directions. More than once they've pushed me so far north, I was close to entering the wildlife reserve area (big no-no for us) and politely, but firmly, told them I needed to start coming south and east. Most of us who actually operate the vessels and don't navigate/"captain" a desk prefer SBC because of this. Is the CI route
"dangerous"? No, but you do need to be on your toes a little more and it completely negates the point and safety
of having a TSS right next door. There, we know where to expect the commercial traffic - and the little guys know where to expect us (generally). The "new" lanes north of Catalina
are "recommended routes" and have yet to be IMO-approved. No official charting has been issued for them yet either (ie, there are bulletins about it, but the charting hasn't been officially updated).
Originally Posted by JRM
There's plenty, but since they put in the heavy fuel oil
restrictions everyone who can manage stays outside until the last possible second to reduce time using more expensive fuel
. I heard talk that thy were going to try and come up with additional regulation to prevent this loop holing, but I'm too lazy to google
Yes, there used to be an advantage to running the Channel Islands route in that you spent less time in the CARB zone running on MGO, but they closed that loophole recently by including the western end of San Miguel Island in the 24nm boundary origin. I don't remember exactly when it happened, but maybe about a year or so ago.
Originally Posted by susanna reiter
..They do not watch out for small boats....and even if they did... booking along at 20 knots or so...they could never stop or alter course soon enough to miss you....
They (we) most certainly do watch for small boats, particularly in areas like this. I don't know where this constant notion of people in sailboats being run down (or nearly-run down) by renegade ships comes from, but frankly it's getting ridiculous and old. I'd venture that the average bridge watch has better situational awareness at any given time than the average small boat crew does.
Also, Santa Barbara Channel is an IMO-Approved TSS and Rule
10 very much applies there. See what it says with regards to sailing vessels...