Thursday, October 4, 2012

Santa Cruz Island

By Rob

I pried Nancy's firm grip from the dock in Santa Barbara and we made our way out of the harbor and returned to Santa Cruz Island.

In the morning of our departure I purchased a fishing license and deployed lines for the 22 miles sail out to the islands.

I only caught kelp.

Once we had the hook down, Nancy and I took the dingy out the the famous Painted Caves.  These caves go back some 600 feet and have wonderful colors at the tideline and the ceiling of the cave.  When we visited the swell was running and made it unsafe to get too far back but these photos give you an idea.  I had visited the caves 10 years ago and it was just as spooky as before!

Entrance to Painted Cave
Inside looking out

Navigating in the dark

Our next stop was Lady's harbor.   It is only big enough for one or two boats.  You need to anchor bow and stern so you don't bump the cliffs..   Our stern anchor was not setting well so I put it on the beach and jammed it in while Nancy winched on the tension. Once we were confident that we were well set in the narrow anchorage, we enjoyed a wonderful evening rolling gently in the swell.

Anchor Down!

Exploring a beach cave at Cuevo Valdez Anchorage

Beach time

Shindig at Cuevo Valdez

Arch Rock Exploration

Our last stop before leaving Santa Cruz Island was Little Scorpion Anchorage.  This is a wonderful spot on the East end of the Island that has several caves to explore.

We met up with new friends that we first met in Santa Cruz (the town) two weeks before.  Enjoyed a fun happy hour aboard their beautiful sloop.

They were "boat bound" as a young sea lion had climbed aboard their dinghy.  The poor guy was not healthy and we believe he beached himself in the boat to die.  As crazy as that sounds, this time of year it is common in the Channel Islands for sea lions to do this.  The dinghy part is unique..... usually they find a place on shore or in a cave.

Next stop.... Santa Catalina Island.

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