Sailing Mango

Thank You Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa is one of the Channel Islands, the island chain that is just south of Point Conception and more or less due west of LA. We hadn't planned on going there, but we did in a moment of need.

After spending two nights in Morro Bay, we left at dusk for an overnight sail with the plan to go to Santa Cruz island. We had to motorsail until about 10:30pm, then we had enough wind to turn off the engine. By morning we had plenty of wind, and after hearing about a gale warning for winds out of the NW on the radio for the area, decided to head into Santa Rosa, Bechers Bay for cover, which was a few hours closer than the anchorage at Santa Cruz. When we got into Bechers the swell dropped from 7-9' to nothing, although the wind was still in the 20-25 knot range. Wind we can deal with at an anchorage. Not so much a heavy swell.

It was quite pleasant in Bechers Bay. The wind was blowing hard, making it a bit noisy, but it was calm inside the boat. The first priority was to make brownies for lunch. That task complete, we set about the hard job of lounging about. Without Internet access, we all just sort of sat around and looked blankly at each other. Eventually we said a few words, and then started reading books. E began to get itchy, and started bugging the rest of us.

E "I'm so bored!"
Me: "Let's play a game", reaching for the game bin
E: "No!"
Me: "Tell me a story"
E: "No!"
Me: "Uhmm... let's read a book together"
E: "No!"

This went on for a few minutes, with me actively trying to drive her as nuts as she was driving me. Eventually she drifted away. I was going to follow her to her cabin spouting helpful tips about what to do when you are bored, but she is getting strong these days.

Today we had a fine breakfast, then we set off for Santa Barbara. We had heard reports that there was no Internet access on Santa Cruz, and, well, we couldn't have that. Actually we needed cell service so Kristen could make some calls.

When we left Bechers Bay this morning the wind was still up, maybe 18-20 knots, and we had a great sail with just the jib and mizzen, no main sail. Pretty quickly the winds dropped into the 5-10 knot range and we raised the main. At this point Kristen and I were really pleased with Mango's performance. The log reads that we were doing 5 knots in 6.3 knots true, wind angle of 47 degrees. That is pretty OK in my book for a cruising boat with a grass skirt at the water line.

Currently we are in the Santa Barbara anchorage. It is a little rolly, but honestly we like it that way. It helps us keep our sea legs so we dont get sea sick when sailing. After just two days in Morro Bay Kristen was feeling pretty bad during the first part of our sail.

Morro Bay was a great stop over. The navigable bay itself is a narrow little channel with a bazillian boats on mooring balls on one side, and docks and short piers on the other. Combine this with winds in the low twenty knots, and it is pretty much a horror story for us. But we remained calm, and reasoned that as long as we could continue going straight with no silly kayakers in front of us, we would be fine. Kayakers are like little squirrels on the road that tend to dart out in front of your car just as you are passing them. Why not just stay put for a moment and let the big fat boat that cannot stop or manuver pass?

As we approached the Morrow Bay Yacht Club where we hoped to stay, there was a sign saying the dock was closed. Kristen motored over anyway, and someone shouted out asking if we wanted to dock. Yes please! No worries, mate! Their race was nearly over and we could squeeze in. Since the wind was blowing towards the dock, Kristen simply stopped the forward motion of the boat, and let the wind push us the fifteen feet or two over to the dock. Easy as snap your fingers.

So from here, SB, the plan is to make our way over to LA, then somewhere else, not sure where, and in a week be at Dana Point to meet up with my sister's family.


This was in San Simeon. A poor guy came in with very little fuel and had called the Coast Guard. A helo was out as he headed into the anchorage, then after he was safely anchored this CG boat came out to ensure all was well. The CG was extremely nice and helpful.


Morro Bay, with Morro Rock.


The day after we arrived was Harbor Festival, so we got to eat so-so food with everyone else. The fireworks were quite good, but they had them at 8 pm. Back home they don't start until nearly 10 pm!


Morro Rock. That bay is pretty skinny.




Sand dunes.


A tall ship based out of San Diego.


View of the yacht club from the mast spreaders. A was up there fixing our deck light. Brave kid!


A is now part of the "ascended the mast" club. Or whatever that club would be called if there was such a club.


Becher Bay sunrise.


Biscuit needing a bit of love during our robust sail over to Santa Barbara.




Kristen raising the main. Her comment when she was done: "I see why you are so tired when you do that!"


Santa Barbara, safely at anchor.