Santa Barbara, Point Conception and Morro Bay

26 Mar

After riding out the storm in Ventura, Bella Marina was covered in sand and I gave her a quick wash. It was very satisfying to see a brown boat turn to pearl white. The same morning I took off for Santa Barbara, my last stop before rounding Point Conception. The best time to round Point Conception is during the night, as the weather is often calmer at that time. Thus, my plan was to go to Santa Barbara in the morning, get a few hours of sleep and then leave for the Point right after sunset, for an early morning arrival at Point Conception.

Like they say in A-Team: I love it, when a plan comes together. I got my few hours of sleep and left Santa Barbara around 19:30. The ride to Point Conception was almost glass smooth (as predicted by the grib files) and I rounded Point Conception with favorable conditions.

However, after rounding point Conception, unlike the predicted light winds coming into Morro Bay, I was instead hit with heavy winds on the nose and accompanying waves that Bella Marina was bashing against. I eventually arrived in Morro a few hours later than expected and very tired from bashing against waves all morning long. I was surprised after having such a smooth ride around Point Conception only to be met with strong headwinds, currents and cold weather. I guess that’s the wakeup call telling me I’m no longer in Southern California.

There are lots of oil rigs in the Santa Barbara channel.

Santa Barbara harbor is small and cute packed with boats, but I had no time to explore, I had to focus on my mission.

It’s comforting to know that the Coast Guard is ready to come rescue you, if things go wrong. I always carry a personal EPIRB, when I’m single handling. If I push the button, these guys will show up within hours (hopefully less, if they have a helicopter ready).

More oil rigs. It’s important not to hit these guys, but they are lit like Christmas trees and not to hard to spot. These guys might be using more energy than they produce…

It’s a little hard to see, but those are whales only a few hundred feet from my boat. I couldn’t tell what kind, since they barely breached the surface.

Finally arriving in Morro Bay. That’s Morro Rock, marking the entrance to the harbor.

A closeup of Morro Rock after entering the harbor. The harbor is calm, even though it’s blowing 15+ outside.

Morro Bay Yacht Club. I was the only boat at the guest dock. Last time coming south, the dock was full with boats rafted two wide.

A Sea Otter was hanging out in the harbor working on cracking a shell.

Boats moored inside the harbor.

Location:Morro Bay, CA, United States