Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pelican Bay, Santa Cruz Island and on to Oxnard, Channel Islands Harbour

The next day our plan was to head with Silas Crosby to Santa Cruz Island. We would pass by the famous Painted Cave, the largest and deepest sea cave in the world, which gets its name from the colourful lichens that line its walls.
Painted Cave

Inside Painted Cave

Steve and Meredith hoped to do some kayaking along this rugged and fascinating coastline.

Santa Cruz coastline 

We were to anchor together at nearby Fry’s Harbour but, unfortunately, there was a boat there already and Ka’sala continued on to Pelican Bay.

Fry's Harbour, Santa Cruz

Pelican Bay is one of the largest anchorages on Santa Cruz, but it is still quite small. We put out 50 meters of chain and employed our stern anchor to keep Ka’sala from swinging on the swell. By the time we had settled, it was dark, so we had a quick dinner and went to bed early.

Evening at Pelican Bay

We had really enjoyed an excellent day of sailing in the sunshine along these Channel Islands at 4 to 5 knots, full sails.

Leaving Pelican Bay

However, we weren’t very happy with this exposed anchorage and, with a change in the fair weather predicted, we decided to head over to Oxnard, at Channel Islands Harbour, just south of Santa Barbara and Ventura. It was another pleasant sail, mostly downwind, with main prevented and Yankee poled out. We could see the oil platforms which line the Santa Barbara Channel, but didn’t see any boats as we crossed the shipping lanes.
Oil Platform in Santa Barbara Channel

Playful sea lion in the Channel

We arrived late afternoon and, after checking in with the officious harbor master, were assigned a transient berth close to the end of starboard arm of this man-made harbour.

Entering Oxnard breakwater

Entering the Southern Arm

 We didn’t see any other cruisers and the whole place looked very quiet. Our berth was in front of a Fisherman’s Wharf development that was completely closed down. I fear that Oxnard may have fallen on hard times.

70’s apartment style condos with slips lined the sides as we coasted by.

Fisherman's Wharf in better days - we were moored right on the dock to the left

Next morning, right after breakfast we cast off and continued our journey to Marina Del Rey, 45 nautical miles down the coast.


  1. Nice to see you are making good progress. I do appreciate your great descriptions of the places you pass and visit as well as those of the sailing details. And I am very jealous.

    David McClure

  2. I'm jealous. The most I get in lately is a 2-3 day sail to Channel Islands from Marina del Rey!!