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Any advice for Anacapa Island day trip?

Dec 28, 2020
O'Day 19 Marina Del Rey
Drone 2021.jpg

This summer, my kids and I made a trip to Catalina from Kings Harbor on our Mariner 19. I got a lot of helpful guidance from more-experienced sailors on this forum. As it happened, there were no big challenges for us in that trip.

We'd like to make another island trip, but my thinking is to make the next one easier, not harder -- a non-weekend, one-day, there-and back from Oxnard to Anacapa Island. That said, I don't know much about Channel Islands Harbor or the general conditions that far north. It would be nice to practice anchoring, even if it's just to eat lunch on the boat, but I don't know where the best place for that would be around Anacapa.

So I thought I'd ask all of you before I put the specific idea in my kids' head. We sail just about every weekend out of Marina Del Rey. But it's usually just a random trip out into the bay and back.

Any advice?


Jun 1, 2004
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
I suggest finding a copy of one of Brian Fagan's cruising guides to the Calif coastal area. He has published various editions over the years, some specific to channel islands, others covering larger areas. The SF to San Diego guide, for instance, even though it emphasizes making the coastal passage, will include Channel Islands info. Besides anchorages, you'll want to understand weather patterns sailing out of Oxnard. One of our posters, King's Gambit, has contributed a lot on the subject also. Hopefully, he would pick up on your thread. I've never been to Anacapa, always thought it would be a fun stop.

Btw, I found my used copy of the third book pictured below at Seabreeze Nautical Book Store in Pt Loma (San Diego). You can call them and find out what the have available..... the staff really knows their stuff. All the locals shop there for books, gifts and CHARTS. Yep, people still buy paper charts. It's a great place to browse, since there is an extensive used book collection. I found much my historical nautical fiction collection there... Patrick O'Brian, Dewey Lambdin, etc. Your kids would love this place. Anyway... sounds like fun... good luck.
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Jan 18, 2016
Catalina 387 Dana Point
Ditto Fagan's book. (I've got a copy in the chart table, assume most in SoCal do too)

Weather is your #1 concern. Moreso for the northern channel islands than the southern ones. Weather tends to be more severe up north. So pick a good day.
Dec 28, 2020
O'Day 19 Marina Del Rey
Thanks. I've got Fagan's book. But it's on the boat in a bag. I'll retrieve it and take a look at it.
Dec 28, 2020
O'Day 19 Marina Del Rey
Well, we had a great time. My son is studying tectonics and the 'rock cycle' in his science class, so we also learned a little about the history of the channel islands.