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Old 02-05-2015, 07:14   #1
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Bechers Bay anchorages

This is directed to sailors who visit Santa Rosa Island in the Santa Barbara Channel. In Bechers Bay there are two anchorages marked on the chart, NW and SE. I have anchored at NW many times and the wind is often strong from the NW (usual direction in the SBC). The wind seems to be concentrated here and once away from the anchorage the wind usually drops. I have seen the SE anchorage on the chart but figured it was only usable during storms with south wind. During NW wind the fetch at the SE anchorage appears to be more than two miles.

Once (after a windy night at NW) I sailed past the SE anchorage and there was someone anchored there. So the question is- has anyone had personal experience with anchoring at the SE anchorage when the wind blew from the west or NW? Perhaps the wind is lighter at SE or the wind direction changes so that there is protection from the nearby shore.

Once one passes Skunk Point and heads south along the shore on the east end of the island the wind seems to become much lighter than in Bechers Bay. This spot also looks like it might be a comfortable anchorage. Has anyone tired this spot?
Thanks- Ken
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Old 21-05-2015, 22:02   #2
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Re: Bechers Bay anchorages

Hi Ken,

I've also only anchored at the NW area above the pier. When I've sailed by the SE, it has always looked fairly benign. Maybe better then the NW as you know it howls there.

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Old 23-02-2016, 20:05   #3
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Re: Bechers Bay anchorages

Evening Tide, If you want a good anchorage...not too far...go to French's Cove on Anacapa. It is a great cove with excellent holding. Nowhere is fun during a Santa Ana (easterly gusty blow). I tried to leave French's one late afternoon and get to the backside of Santa Rosa island (west coast) but my little F boat didn't seem to be making any progress after 30 minutes of beating into strong winds and building I skittered over to Ventura Harbor. Was afraid of being caught on a lee shore and not confident enough to wait it out on the hook. Sometimes ya just got to listen to that pestering voice.
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Old 24-02-2016, 06:46   #4
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Re: Bechers Bay anchorages

Thanks to Mal and Al for your suggestions. In a new revision of Fagan's cruise guide he mentions anchoring south of Skunk Point so that answers one of my questions. He feels that Becher's SE anchorage is only good for storms with south wind and that is what I thought. All the guides say that there are no safe overnight anchorages at Anacapa so I have not even explored there or tried to anchor.
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Old 24-02-2016, 07:17   #5
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Re: Bechers Bay anchorages

I have anchored many times in SE anchorage, but only in settled weather. There is less wind there than in NW anchorage, but, as you guessed, the fetch is enough to set up a nasty chop. It is also quite shallow if you try to tuck behind the reef so you need to keep a very close eye on the swell. There is another little bight between NW and SE where you could tuck in with the same caveats. There is a nice spot between Skunk Point and East Point with less wind than Becher's but it too gets rolly when the wind is up. If is is going to be nasty I usually just head over to Forney's on Santa Cruz although Forney's gets rolly when the swell is up.

Anacapa is a great place to cruise with some of the best kayaking, hiking and diving in the Channel Islands. Frenchy's is a great lunch spot or overnight is calm weather but it is an open roadstead and blows out easily. A better option is East Fish Camp on the south side of the island. I have spent the night there many times and it is fine in the normal summer winds, although rolly in the spring. Another option is to anchor at Smugglers, Yellowbanks or Little Scorpion on SC and do a day trip to Anacapa. You can motor down to Anacapa in the morning from any of these anchorages, anchor at East Fish Camp, spend the day messing around Anacapa and then sneak back to Yellowbanks in the afternoon in the lee of Santa Cruz.

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