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Old 15-03-2016, 10:58   #1
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SAN Diego to Santa Barbara

Any information on sailing from San Diego Bay to Santa Barbra Calif. How long does it normally take and what to watch out for.

Thanks
Jim
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Old 15-03-2016, 11:30   #2
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SAN Diego to Santa Barbara

JDoyle, like most things, it depends. From your question I assume you don't have much sailing experience. So, what type and size boat are you talking about? What condition and size engine? What weather? Are you thinking of sailing straight through or stopping at one or more anchorages along the way?

It is about 185 nautical miles from San Diego directly to Santa Barbara (depending on where you start from). If you figure 5 kts average speed through the water but about 4 kts against the current and wind (if you can sail or motor directly which is often not the case) you are looking at more than 30 hours, more if you make stops.

Things to watch out for? First and foremost is the weather. Of course you will be carefully reading your charts and cruising guides so you know you need to clear the kelp beds off Point Loma before you head north. Charlies Charts is a good cruising guide with lots of information about this area and every harbor and anchorage in between.


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Old 15-03-2016, 11:51   #3
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Re: SAN Diego to Santa Barbara

Thanks for the info I have sailed the SF Bay Racing in a 40' Ketenburg when I was in High school in 75 ouch. We purchased a 1978 30' Catalina. So yes it will be a learning experience..

Jim
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Old 15-03-2016, 12:07   #4
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Re: SAN Diego to Santa Barbara

Tayana42--Great name for your boat. Hopefully it has proven so.

JDoyle--There have been many threads on the passage you are contemplating that you should be able to find. As a (relative) novice, it will be a learning experience but, if well maintained, your boat should be easily up to it. Insure you have a place to put her once you get to Santa Barbara (before you leave!).
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Old 15-03-2016, 12:43   #5
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Re: SAN Diego to Santa Barbara

SvHyLyte, yes this boat was just meant to be.


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Old 15-03-2016, 13:09   #6
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SAN Diego to Santa Barbara

JDoyle, I'd suggest you take your time transiting the coast and make several stops along the way. For example you could go to Mission Bay for an easy first day and anchor in Mariners Basin. Or you could push on to Oceanside and get a slip for the night. Then on to Dana Point or Newport Beach. From there it is a day sail to Long Beach to anchor behind Island White or a slip in Shoreline Marina or Alamitos Bay. If you have time you could cross to Catalina Island and enjoy Avalon and/or Two Harbors for a few days. From there it's a good long day to anchor at Paradise Cove near Malibu. From there it's a day sail to Oxnard Channel Islands Harbor. Then another day to Santa Barbara.

Of course you can skip any or all of these stops and push on throughout the night. There are other places to stop including Redondo Beach, Marina Del Rey, Santa Cruze Island, Ventura Harbor (which may be closed right now due to silting). Do you have competent crew? It can get foggy, do you have radar? Be aware of the increased wind around Point Vincente particularly in the afternoons. Also be aware of naval ship traffic in and around the entrance to San Diego and commercial shipping all along the coast but particularly in the approaches to the twin ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Watch for tugs towing barges on cables as long as 1/4 mile. You don't want to get between a tug and its tow. There are oil platforms to avoid along the way which are mostly well lighted but heavy mooring buoys near them and in Santa Monica Bay which are not lighted.


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Old 15-03-2016, 13:55   #7
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Re: SAN Diego to Santa Barbara

I'd take 3 or 4 days, But I'd stop for a restaurant meal, shower and some sleep along the way. One real long day to Dana or Newport, another to Two Harbors, then a long day to SB. If you pass inside the oil platforms after dark look out for fast moving equipment boats and water taxi's running out to them. Also ships leaving LA, middle of the night it looks like they are making 20 kts. by the time they hit Angels Gate.
The more you want to sail the longer it will take because it's straight into the wind below Palos Verdes. The current also runs against you at about a 1 knot average, more if a storm front is passing thru, except out near the shipping lanes there are some eddies that will carry you.
Also, if you look closely at a chart, you'll note the coast below PV actually runs at 270 degrees, east-west. Prevailing winds are westerly unless we get Santa Anas which put more North in the wind direction, or a Chubasco up from the South (rarer).
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Old 15-03-2016, 14:01   #8
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Re: SAN Diego to Santa Barbara

Day one to Twin Harbors or Avalon
Day 2 anchor at Scorpions on Santa Cruz Island
Day 3 to Santa Barbara.
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Old 16-03-2016, 08:59   #9
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Re: SAN Diego to Santa Barbara

As one who has done this trek, let me say, first off, it is a lousy idea to try to do it in one continuous stretch. The current is strong, and for most of the way you will be beating against the wind. Especially with a new (to you) boat. My suggestion is to do it over the space of several days. I would go from San Diego up to Oceanside. Oceanside to Dana Point, Dana point to Long Beach / Long Beach to Marina del Rey, Marina del Rey to Santa Barbara (long stretch, but I'd stay off shore a bit)
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Old 16-03-2016, 09:44   #10
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Re: SAN Diego to Santa Barbara

+1 to all the above. Depending on time of year, also be aware of the Santa Ana winds. We motored up from SD and were just passing to the north of Catalina island, when they hit us, resulting in 5 -6 ft side rolling waves. Quite a surprise. We had to adjust our course towards Pt Hueneme in order to shorten the fetch as much as possible as quickly as possible.
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Old 16-03-2016, 10:01   #11
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Re: SAN Diego to Santa Barbara

I like Wainui's plan if you have help with the watch so you can get some rest. I've never had problem getting a slip at SB for my 28'er.I 've gone there about 10 times these four yrs. having this boat. Ventura gauged me for $68 or $65 per day. Get good anchor gear and the right charts. Fagen's book and Charlies describe all the good anchorages. Make sure you have good lights.The ships can be scary especially in the fog. Unless I have lots of time I always plan to motor some. You will love the ride back.
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Old 16-03-2016, 10:23   #12
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Re: SAN Diego to Santa Barbara

I've done this various ways. My suggestion would be SD to Avalon. Motor or motor sail if you can, but you will probably be motoring (12 hours with engine). Enjoy Catalina the next day and then go down to Emerald Bay for the night. All mooring balls, so restful nights. Get up early and take a straight shot from Emerald to SB (another 12 hours). If you can't make it all the way, duck into Channel Islands which is about 3-4 hours shy of SB.

If you do have time, Emerald to Smugglers on Santa Cruz Island and then across to SB. You can get more sailing in on this route.
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Old 16-03-2016, 10:33   #13
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Re: SAN Diego to Santa Barbara

I'd personally go SD->Catalina->SB (or channel islands, depending)

But you can harbor-hop all the way up too - SD->Oceanside->Dana/Newport->MDR/Kings->Ventura/Channelsl->SB.

For MY boat (an A-4 powered C-30) fuel quantity is an issue. Diesel gets 2x range over my boat. Fuel avaliable at all stops mentioned (although I'm not sure of Avalon right now - they were gonna replace the fuel dock so I don't know if there's anything there)

If you want help/crew, PM me.
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Old 16-03-2016, 10:59   #14
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Re: SAN Diego to Santa Barbara

+1 on BCsete's route. SD to Dana Point (guest slips $1 per ft per night 949 496-6137)or set a hook in Dana for free. It's a long day but easy second day to two harbors Catalina and set a hook or $40 mooring ball. Santa Barbara the next day.
Another way is SD-Dana-Newport and two harbors from Newport can be a reach the whole way.
I use Shipfinder HD on an IPAD and can see most ships, their speed, length ,direction etc. Even with radar and Ship finder I would try to confine the crossing to as many daylight hours as possible.
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Old 16-03-2016, 11:28   #15
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Re: SAN Diego to Santa Barbara

Great trip, wish I could join you.

Things in your favor:

1. Lots of intermediate harbors. I think MDR to Channel Islands may be the longest passage, and that's not very far.
2. Interesting islands. These can provide somewhat of a lee if you're offshore. They can also BE a lee shore so you have to navigate carefully.
3. Nice conditions when there isn't a storm brewing.

Things not in your favor:

1. Ship traffic. AIS would be a giant help. Secondarily, a good radar reflector.
2. Fog.
3. Occasional high winds (the most wind I have ever experienced was off of King Harbor in about 1976.)
4. High transient slip fees if you do overnight someplace and decide not to anchor out.
5. Some harbor entrances that can be hairy in windy conditions.

I generally suggest an early morning departure so you can power in flat seas and no wind and get some miles under your belt. You can exercise all of the systems, and still have the ability to duck into Oceanside or Dana Point if things deteriorate for some reason. I generally motorsail with the main up to stabilize the rolling somewhat, perhaps running the traveler to one side to force the sail to hold its shape due to the apparent wind.

Have fun,

Chuck
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