Posted by: Zen | January 17, 2013

PEP: Santa Barbara …the promise land

Akemashite Omedetou
Happy New year,  indeed it was a happy new year to wake up on the good side of the POINT.  The worst was over. The next  plan was to leave at dawn and motor/sail down to Santa Barb for a couple of days rest.
How many things go just as planned….few.
Our travel companions on the newly added boats, did not want to hangout until daylight, so when we awoke to get ready , they were already off the hook and gone.  Oh well. The WindCharmer crew and us, organized, then also headed to the Southland.
The difference in the water was night and day.  We had a very smooth and comfortable ride down to SB. No wind…If there was enough wind to push us along it would have been great. As it was it was still nice to have a break from hard steering in confused seas.
We heard our former companions chatting a bit on the radio, same channel we used, but no one said anything to us, no Happy New Year’ hi, zip.  No one from ether camp spoke, we all sailed on. I felt a silence hang over the boats after hearing the first unspoken verbiage .
Little by little we came upon SB. I tried to contact space  SB Yacht club about space for the two boats …no response. Same I received via mail when asking…silence.
My next move was to contact the Harbor Patrol. I was told by them there was no room in the Inn. !!! Oh boy , there goes the hot shower, and a couple of days of relaxing. We are told we can use the anchorage…thanks?
I heard WindCharmer trying to raise our former buddy boats, the response was silence . The unspoken thoughts I heard (felt) from everyone…They could have told us the place was full, we heard them on the radio, we know they heard us…
The anchorage was never a prime spot. Hard to get to land for provisions, fairly rolly. Crowded. Now we find it had been moved even further into suckville. It was then suggested by WindCharmer we just go drop anchor in found of the most expensive hotel in CA. Fine, I say. We motor over while dodging kelp forests. Speaking of dodging, I hate crab pots!!!  Night sailing is death around those! Bloody water mines…sorry I digress.
After circling and such we found a couple of spots. I picked one closer to shore, and a sandy beach if I came loose. I had a horrible time trying to set a second anchor. I was concerned about pulling the first anchor loose by over pull while passing it. I need to install a float marker to the anchor, to tell where it is. Finally I got it poorly set, but was not happy about it. However after testing , testing, testing the first anchor under load I settled in uncomfortably for the night.  Thinking well the second anchor even not set now, will set better  if the first drags…positive thinking, the plan.
After several nights at anchor and planned only supplies enough to Santa Barbara, we were low on most things including propane for heat.  We made do with what we had, while I was constantly checking our position for creepage …all night. I did not even go to bed, I slept on the sofa and woke every hour or less. Around 12:00 the surges started…seriously. So now I was checking for drift more! We moved around, we rolled and rocked, I looked, I checked. I thought about if it was just me near shore or if the WindCarmer was also getting it? I look outside at the swell and the monohulls , including WC, confirmed everyone was on a roll worse for them.
Morning finally came , I had some sleep after some point of saying oh, well, at least I will Not be on the rocks…
I was very pleased to find our direction had changed but theFortress held. Nt comes the part I was not looking forward to. Raising the anchors. I figured, lithe lines are twisted , I was surrounded by kelp. This was not going to be fun. I started on the anchor rode, pulling on one then the other. They were not bad at all, I cut away kelp when needed’ and slowly got everything back on deck. The second anchor felt like it was not holding at all when I pulled it up. The first anchor was still firm, it took some effort to pull it loose. It is the one one that keep us safe last night.
LZ circled WindCharmer boat as they raised anchor. We all commended on the uncomfortableness of the anchor spot and were pleased to be head away form it. On to the next stop, I thought it was Ventura  however it was The Channel island harbor, in Oxnard.  There we would hang out for a couple of days to re-center.


  1. Ouch, Zen. For the record, we did talk to WindCharmer before leaving the anchorage. I was ready to puke from the rolling all night (for two nights) and just wanted to get out of there and underway asap and you guys were not responding on the radio yet. Seems like we did exchange a few words on the radio, did we not? And at the same time that you were calling in to the harbor in Santa Barbara, we were standing in the office getting the same bad news about no room.

    Something we learned there is that they have a harder time saying no to you when you are standing right there. Perhaps if you guys had come in to the temporary tie up as we did they could have worked something out. They ended up sticking both of us in a 50′ slip – a solution Chuck suggested – and then we got onto the Yacht Club guest dock by the skin of our teeth for a few days. Not sure how we could have helped, but sorry you felt abandoned.

  2. I would have called, and at least said, hey this place is full. You might want to reconsider your plans. However, everyone is different with their considerations, ne! That is just me, everyone is who they are.
    Fair winds.

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