Our two weeks anchored in Avila Beach were splendid, largely warm and comfortable, with only a few bouncy days. We had a few opportunities to catch a weather window and make the move to Santa Barbara, but it was easy to find reasons to stay.

But once we decided to stay a little longer, the weather got cooler and the wind died, so our extra few days gave us a good opportunity to prep slowly for our window to round Point Conception.

Trip Summary

29.5 hours on the water, with lots of animal activity. Dunes during the day, stars at night, and the second day marked by very playful dolphins. Low power consumption thanks to mostly steady wind. By the end of the trip, the small craft advisory was upgraded to a gale warning, so we decided to get a slip instead of anchor for the first time since March.

Logbook – Port San Luis anchorage to Santa Barbara Harbor

35°10′ N     |     120°44′ W

Trip begins, ready to bring up anchor. Very calm. 48 volt bank at 94%. Hope to pass Point Arguello by 20:00. Solar production low.

35°08′ N     |     120°44′ W

No wind yet. Motoring 2.5 kilowatts. Small whale off port. Lots of fishing boats out so decided to throw a line in the water, set vaguely for salmon, and see what happens.

Nora working remotely, good internet hotspot capabilities.

35°04′ N     |     120°44′ W

Still no wind, 48 volt bank at 83%. Larger grey whale behind. Conditions lighter than on the anchor. Incredibly smooth water texture. Solar 243 watts in. Batts discharging 908 watts to run us at 2.38 kw, which in current conditions equals 3 knots SOG.

35°01′ N     |     120°44′ W

Motoring 2.9 kilowatts, making 3.2 knots SOG. 48 volt bank at 78%. A few blue patches in the sky.

Still no wind to speak of. If by 11:15 no wind & we are below 75% on 48v, we will turn on Genset. 

34°58′ N     |     120°43′ W

Foresail out, 3 kts wind over aft. Sea lions laughing at us. SOG 0.7 kts. Big dune view. 48v bank at 75%. Just hit latitude 34!

34°56′ N     |     120°44′ W

Main is up. Making 3 knots SOG without motor. 12 volt bank reached 100%, 48v at 76%. Humpback very close.

34°53′ N     |     120°43′ W

780 watts in from solar, 48 volt at 80%. Full sail, beam reach, SOG 3.1 knots. Attempting to fish.

34°49′ N     |     120°42′ W

Full sails, close hauled. 3.4 knots SOG. 48 volt bank at 83%.

34°46′.484 N     |     120°42′.056 W

Sailing, full sails still. 3.7 knots SOG. 625 watts of solar in. 48 volt bank at 85%.

Good whale sightings off starboard. Packed up fishing gear. SOG as high as 4.2 kts. Est 1830 for arrival at Point Arguello waypoint. Mostly cloudy.

34°42′ N     |     120°41′ W

Full sails, 3.4 knots SOG. 48 volt bank at 88%, 377 watts of solar in.

34°39′ N     |     120°41′ W

Full sails, wind shifting, but making 3.6 knots SOG. 280 watts of solar, still charging, 48 volt up to 89%. Occasionally speeding up, just saw 5 knots SOG for the first time. Wind 9 kts up to 10.5. very dramatic light on the hills

34°36′ N     |     120°40′ W

Full sails, SOG 2.9 knots, with wind at 6 knots. Nearing Arguello Point.

34°33′.858 N     |     120°39′.023 W

91% on 48 volt bank. Getting cooler, still on port tack. Sun setting beautifully, very remote feeling land.

34°30′ N     |     120°350′ W

Charles begins watch. Making 4.5 knots SOG. Saw a crab pot, ick.

34°27′ N     |     120°30′ W

Sea is building. Adjusted prop regen to “110”

34°25′ N     |     120°26′ W

Getting bumpy. Wind still mild, 3 knots.

34°24′ N     |     120°23′ W

Winds picking up a little, getting chilly.

34°23′ N     |     120°20′ W

Wind shifty again. Not much to be done, still making headway.

34°23′ N     |     120°18′ W

Winds picking up a little again. Quiet.

34°22′ N     |     120°10′ W

48 volt at 91%, 12 volt at 81.4%. Waves on the beam, 6.1 knots of wind. Not too cold.

34°22′ N     |     120°06′ W

Took about 30 minutes to hand off watch & fully debrief.  I would not have expected such a good view of the milky way so close to the bright derricks, but there it is, our cosmic scar. And the waves are filled with gold dust from the phytoplankton.

Suddenly light, shifty wind. SOG dropped to 1.5 kts. Motoring for 5 minutes, then close hauled. Finicky wind.

34°22′ N     |     120°03′ W

Wind gone, motor on. Briefly enough apparent wind to sail, but rolled up genoa 03:50. Dolphins swimming with and fishing near Ayala, visible only through their phosphorescent trails left by disturbed phytoplankton.

04:30 Splashes starting to catch the first hints of sunrise.

34°2’1 N     |     120°00′ W

Still motoring, inconsistent wind on the nose. Switches every 15 minutes. 48 volt bank at 80%.

34°20′ N     |     119°58′ W

Sun up. Wind still less than 10 knots and shifty. Motor intermittently on.

34°20′ N     |     119°56′ W

Finally good wind, woke Charles up and together got the main up. Sailing well. 6.7 knots SOG.

34°23′ N     |     119°55′ W

Tacking against the wind, 4.6 kts SOG. 48 volt bank at 76%.

34°21′ N     |     119°53′ W

400 watts of solar, making 4.3 knots SOG. Small craft advisory upgraded to gale warning. Going to try to get a slip instead of anchor.

34°22′ N     |     119°48′ W

Significant wind, making 4.1 knots SOG. Harbor is near full because of holiday weekend + incoming storm, but if we make good time, they expect to have a space for us.

34°22′ N     |     119°45′ W

Motor-sailing to get into Santa Barbara on time, at 4.5 kilowatts, making 4.7 knots SOG. 48 volt bank at 75%. Very playful dolphins!! Bottle nose. 

34°24′ N     |     119°41′ W

At the welcome slip in Santa Barbara Harbor. Giving Ayala a rinse, packing up while Charles checks in. Very easy entry into the harbor, although busy with the holiday weekend. 48 volt bank at 69%, but 1 kilowatt of solar in.

Anchored in ~25 feet of water, ~180 feet of rode. Warm and delightful here. Such change around the point! After cleaning up, just relaxing in the sun.