Southern California Ports

Note: I rewrote in my last blog: Civilization as I Know It.
You might enjoy the expanded version before proceeding to this blog.


May 10 to May 13   San Diego to Santa Barbara

Tuesday May 10
I sailed from San Diego to Oceanside today. I was ready to get going for a variety of reasons: (1) Jim and crew aboard Double Angel were busy making last-minute preparations before joining the Pacific Puddle. (2) I had adroitly timed my anchoring in special anchoring zones to avoid fees and my luck was running low (3) the spirit of adventure was calling me. A late departure meant going no further than 30 miles to arrive in Oceanside before sunset.

The weather rules my course and my progress, and the prevailing northwest winds make sailing an uphill challenge, every day.


Wednesday May 11
I sailed from Oceanside to Avalon, Catalina Island, today. I was last here on a family vacation when I was 15… over 60 years ago!! I was flooded with memories of Mom and Dad, and my four sisters. I think I was on this very same glass bottom faux submarine pictured above. The Wrigley family has preserved it — or frozen it in time and it hasn’t changed much — maybe more upscale than I remember?


Thursday May 12
I sailed from Avalon to the Channel Islands harbor (Ventura, CA) today. I left Avalon before dawn to travel the 65 miles to Channel Islands Harbor  by nightfall. The afternoon bash is reliably 25-30 knots and choppy seas at 3 pm until they blow themselves out at sunset.   Fortunately I’ve been able to dodge most of them and use the winds to my benefit at least part of each day.   Until this afternoon when I got my butt kicked for a couple of hours of bashing upwind in 30 knots and 8-10 foot chop from 3 to 5 pm. It’s the first time the RD’s deck has been awash in salt water in quite some time.

I should have known better than to be exposed to the regular afternoon blow. Fortunately the harbor entrance was easy , and I escaped into another “safe harbor”.

Superstitious sailors (that’s all of us) would not begin a long voyage on a Friday. This superstition is sourced from a British Navy fleet disaster that began on a Friday. I’m not THAT superstitious, however I would not begin a long voyage on Friday the 13th (tomorrow). If there is a force called luck, I want it on my side.

Friday May 13
I sailed from Channel Islands Harbor to Santa Barbara. The wind was holding its breath, and the water was so still I can not detect a wind or swell direction . It seemed as if the sea is apologizing for the pummeling she gave me yesterday afternoon. Or she is just being her devilish self by trading dynamic winds for the hush of fog.

I am having my first bout with famous Southern California fog. I can detect my traffic on RADAR about a mile before I can make visual contact.   I “see” a vessel passing me within a quarter mile, but I can’t make visual contact.  I see a vague image of an aircraft carrier in silhouette just four miles off my port beam. I refuse to call a warship “she”. He paints the largest brightest target on my RADAR that I have ever seen (twice the size of a cruise ship). Military vessels do not transmit an AIS identification.  Therefore they do not show up on my AIS screen — presumably to minimize their identification and course information. They only identify themselves as “This is warship #___. And they will say with a courteous authority: “Captain, I advise you change course to *** degrees. The military rules these southern California waters and the VHF voice traffic  — presumable protecting this influential part of the country from the  enemy.   Hey guys, WWII is over!

Now that I’ve ranted a bit about the military, let me tell you that the joke is on me. The aircraft carrier on my horizon turned out to be an oil drilling rig. (see pictures above).

I plan to spend a pleasant R&R weekend enjoying the land called Santa Barbara — Saturday with Britt and friends, and Sunday with Donn — who always brings me provisions running the gamut from fresh oil to special foods. Hey, Donn I’m running desperately low on dark chocolate treats.     .


4 thoughts on “Southern California Ports

  1. As usual great post Howard. I so enjoy the Way you have with words so descriptive such a great story writer . I am so grateful you are where you are and the end of the journey is in sight and of course that you’re back in US waters .


  2. So, based on your own instruments, it looks like you’re making 7.8 kts going uphill! Not too shabby, old friend!

    *Bernie* *Captain Bernie Weiss* 51 Regent Court

    Stamford, CT 06907


    On Sat, May 14, 2016 at 4:17 PM, GrandAdventuresAboardRavensDance wrote:

    > Captain Howard posted: ” Note: I rewrote my last blog: Civilization as I > Know It. http: ******** You might enjoy the the expanded version before > proceeding to this blog. May 10 to May 13 San Diego to Santa Barbara > Tuesday May 10 I sailed from San Diego to Oceanside” >


  3. Howard, I called Amazon for a drone delivery of those dark chocolates you crave. Just when I was about to give them your GPS position, I got disconnected. Sorry.


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