Cojo Anchorage

Also known as the Ranch to surfers. Only accessible by boat or knowing the right person to cross their property. Team O'Neill was there before us enjoying some small breaks. We enjoyed the beautiful sunset


We spent a night at the Cojo Anchorage and then headed out. Our travels there brought out first sightings of oil platforms and a friendly, exhausted little bird we named Freeride. She was happy for the rest a few miles off shore and we were happy to oblige. We arrived in Santa Barbara Harbor, our favorite marina yet. It was so well maintained and comfortable.

We enjoyed a farmers market, made a few new purchases, played in the surf and made an acquaintance with the boat Sensei. Then we left the city for the road less traveled and headed for the Channel Islands.


San Mateo Island

Lesser known of the Channel Islands we somehow found ourselves drawn to it. We had to forge our own path through a thick kelp bed and dropped anchor off a protected beach covered with elephant seals. On the way there we were escorted by some playful dolphins. Matthew pulled out yet another tooth. Tristan mastered climbing the mast while strapped into my climbing harness and was able to spot Manta Rays for us all to see. A beautifully graceful mother passed by with a baby following in tow like a duckling . We were all speechless.






That night we tried our hand at astrology but there were so many stars we could hardly pick out the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia. Instead I looked down and we were treated to a different light show. We were used to seeing the phosphorescence dance off the wake at night or rush down the toilet in dots of one or two but that night it was endless. The slightest movement of every bait fish created a sparkler effect in almost neon yellow. Each one created it's own shooting star effect across the water. The boys soon discovered that even spitting in the water created enough disturbance of the organism to produce the same effect. Ah yes, all in the name of science. It was a busy day.




The next day we headed for the better known Santa Cruz Island in search of the Painted Cave. One of the largest known caves of it's kind it stand 180 ft high and 600 ft deep. We anchored a couple of miles away and rode the dinghy to it. Leaping over each swell left us needing a chiropractor but giggling senselessly. The cave was impressive enough that we wouldn't enter any farther than we could see.It became pitch black quickly and a nice size swell could dump you fast in the narrow sections.




Later that day Tristan did spot his first Gray Whale with much excitement. The slow and gentle giant looked prehistoric as it surfaced and was covered in kelp. Traveling alone it is likely on his way south to for the winter. We look forward to seeing a lot of them we hope. We spent the night in a tiny cove called Orizaba. We discovered just how spoiled we are to have had the privilege to sail in the Pacific NW and experience real coves. Ones that you can have all to yourself though you could fit a dozen boats in. And coves that completely envelope and protect you. The term "cove" carries a much more loose definition here. Open and rolly would work. We spent one more night at a second anchorage called Smugglers Cove and then made our way to Ventura Harbor for a few days.

50 feet up!