Yahooo…..Channel Islands!

Morro Bay to San Miguel

Last time I wrote….we were enjoying the great hospitality of Morro Bay, but our adventure continues and we are off once again to explore. We left Morro Bay at 8 am and motor sailed about an hour until the winds picked up. We have a 90 kn/mile trip ahead of us and we expect to get in to the anchorage in the wee hours tomorrow.

Dakota at San Miguel Island

We sailed for 8 hours and as the night descended and the seas became a bit more confused and lumpy, we decided to motor sail the rest of the way…..we should have just continued sailing. Along the way we did see many dolphins….they come in droves and you can see them coming straight for the boat- like an advancing army. We also saw so many humpback whales and Dave found a few whales came uncomfortably close to the boat to check us out. We found that motoring the rest of the way didn’t actually make things easier but since it was night we had picked our mode of travel and stuck with it….we got our anchor down about 3:30 am and found we were the only ones here in the anchorage.

San Miguel Beach
San Miguel Beach
San Miguel
San Miguel
Pelicans on San Miguel

We woke up the next morning to a beautiful sunny day found the winds had switched direction but we were completely protected! We looked at the Predict Wind App and noticed that San Francisco was getting a gale while we were sitting pretty in relative calm weather. We watched so many pelican here and remarked that they looked like pterodactyls flying around Jurassic Park….I can watch them for hours. Also, the sea lions take up most of the beach and it’s like a never ending choir of noises, and it made it difficult to find a piece of beach to land with the dinghy and go for a swim….but we did!

During the day, several other sailboats arrived, so we didn’t feel so alone. We got our first rain fall while anchored here and it washed all the salt off the boat….but we did discover that the mast boot of our main mast completely failed and we had a small river running down the mast into our galley. (just another project to do once we get to San Diego).

Sunrise on our way to Santa Barbara
So many dolphins

We left San Miguel just before sunrise and we are making our way to Santa Barbara. I’ve noticed that it was about here in California that the sun has become ‘brighter’ and that makes the colours so much intense…..or maybe I’m just projecting my joy of being south in great weather. We had a great motorsail in little wind but great weather. Of course, we were surrounded by dolphins again and we even saw more humpback whales along the way. We arrived into Santa Barbara and tied up at the check-in dock. While we were checking in and getting a dock placement, a large motorboat hit the side of Dakota (got pushed against us with a wind gust)….and the owner very apologetic and giving us all his info in case we find damage. Well- my very OCD tendencies came in handy because I had put fenders down on both sides of the boat so, in fact, they only bumped up against our fenders! PHEW!

Santa Barbara Beach
Santa Barbara Beach Walkway
Beach volleyball anyone?
First stop that we noticed so many palm trees
I think they are judging us!

We did so much walking here….in fact in one day we walked 14 kms and felt totally exhausted once we got back to the boat. Luckily we had the beach to walk along and wade in to cool us down. The weather here is fantastic and we’ve noticed plants and birds that remind us of being in Australia…..getting my bird book out to look up unknown species.

We met up with Sailing Vessel Kianna…..Ben and Allie from Breaking Waves. They are from Ucluelet BC and we exchanged fascinating sailing stories of our trips down the coast. We noticed them on AIS as we came down the California coast into San Francisco and just wanted to let them know that even if we didn’t know them, just seeing them on AIS made us feel a lot less alone while sailing so far off shore.

We are planning our next leg….an 85 kn/mile trip to Catalina Island. (the romantic island….check out the song ’26 miles to Catalina’) Cheers everyone and safe travels.


One thought on “Yahooo…..Channel Islands!

  1. Well done!! Yup, putting fenders out on both sides is always a smart thing to do, whew! Also mooring lines. Just in case. Or just in case the helmsman or woman decides to back in to your slip at the last moment. Been there done that! So glad you are enjoying the warm WX & water temps and the never ending pelican show! Hugs, Paul & Kristi (S/V Shearwater X)


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