This is a great little anchorage, we had the whole place to our selves… Good thing too cause it didn’t look like another boat could be in there with us. We should have set a stern hook to keep our bow into the swell. The beach was beautiful and the mini hikes were great. We did not get much sleep at night due to the rolling swell, in the morning we had swung around and were just feet from the breaking waves on the reef behind us. We did not stay another night, as the conditions were only going to get worse. I can not remember our depth, but we did drop the hook in sand around 33 23.1203’N 118 28.5641’W
This anchorage is for visiting boats only, you have to get a permit at the kiosk at the customs dock. The anchorage is kinda far away from any dinghy landing so we needed to use an out board to get to the docks. It is also a bit of a walk to get into downtown or to any stores. But the anchorage offers good holding and a great chance to meet other boaters who are cruising. We never got asked to prove we got our permit, but we did have to show your license to prove we were not San Diego residents. I do believe that there can only be so many boats anchored in there at a time, and thus is how many permits are given out at the time. We dropped our hook in a mud bottom around 32 43.5265’N 117 11.1672’W
This anchorage is crowded, very hard to find a spot and it’s also rolly. We stayed here only one night ( on TARA) and left first thing the next morning after getting NO sleep. When we came down on Prism, there was no room to anchor without being in a channel or getting to close to someone else., so we got a slip.
Santa Cruz Island: Smugglers Cove
This is a great anchorage, we were a little confused about how the guide-book describes the entrance and where exactly to drop the hook.
Once we were there, we stayed for almost a week, happy that the Santa Ana winds never picked up. The water was super warm, and very clear. We never went to shore, it is privately owned and needed a permit.
ok I might be a bit biases because I have family near and I kinda grew up coming to this beach, but…. THIS IS THE BEST ANCHORAGE EVER!!!! Well as long as there is not a south swell.
There used to be a marker off the point letting you know it was safe to round the point and head into the cove, that marker has not been there for years, not sure if it has been replaced or ever will be. We made sure to give the point a very wide berth. Staying on the north side of the pier, and tuck in into the back north corner as close as you can to getaway from possible wrap around swell and north winds. The far corner of the cove is also the best place to land your dinghy. If you enjoy swamping, flipping and swimming, by all means land your dinghy next to the pier, just know you will be in for one hell of a ride.
The beach here is picture perfect, with an amazing trail that leads up and out to the point for one amazing( easy) hike and beautiful views. The nearest town is far, but there is a little cafe type store with really good food right off the beach (Sebastian’s), and Hearst castle is up on the mountain, and if you feel like walking up to the visitors station, you can pay for a ticket and take a tour. If you have not been, it’s worth it.
I love this anchorage, the water is clear, it’s cold but beautiful and will come back every time! But when weather starts to come in from the south, this amazing place can become very ugly. We stayed for 2 nights with the biggest south swell to hit the cove in over 10 years, and there was nothing enjoyable about it, looking back now, we should have left right as it started.
The anchorage in Monterey Bay can be a rolly one…. or so i have heard. We stopped at the famous Bay city on our first boat TARA cause we needed a part for our auto pilot. We did not use the anchorage, but looked at it from the beach and admired the huge mega yacht owned by the VP of Microsoft that took up most of it. We did how ever stay in the marina, which can be an adventure all in its self to get in, shooting the gab between a giant concreat wall/ jetty and the very tall pier with onlookers to boot. When staying in the marina there really is no need to visit the aquarium, as the water under your boat is SO CLEAR you can see all the way to the bottom and see all the sea creatures. One morning we were woken up to hearing a clanking and thumping, when we looked outside a very cute sea otter popped its head out from the boat next to us, gave us a quick look and then proceeded to whale its catch (some kind of Mollusks) on the hull till it opened. Cleaver little guys.. we were just glad it wasn’t our hull he was banging on.
All together this is a great stop, just be prepared to bash your way out when you need to keep heading south.
Stillwater Cove: (Pebble Beach Yacht Club)
This was a little slice of heaven. We did not in fact anchor in here, as we were guest and got to use a mooring for a night. But there was another boat anchored in here, and as far as we could see there is really only room for one boat to be anchored. This cove is Jammed packed full of kelp. I’m sure it’s different every season, but the boat that anchored near us, they were in a kinda clear patch, and dropped the hook in about 25ft. With just enough swing room not to hit the death looking rocks right behind them. Not sure the rules for dinghy landing here, as the cove I think belongs to the yacht club. We were with friends who let us land and they took us to dinner. It is a beautiful spot and a great stop for a night or two if you don’t mind staying on the boat. And I have also heard that it can get very crowded during the summer with mega yachts and what not because of the yacht club. So maybe you can go there and make some friends and ask for ice 🙂