On Friday we left Santa Barbara, planning to anchor on Santa Cruz Island for the night on our way to Los Angeles. The island is a short 25-mile trip, and we had already been there a couple times on our previous boat, Aegea. We anticipated an easy sail, followed by a quiet afternoon at anchor.
The “easy sail” part went according to plan. And the sun, light breeze, and relaxing vibe must have been contagious, because halfway there, we turned to see our Lady Gray in the companionway, ready to set foot in the cockpit! While we were underway! This was big.
John rushed below to put on her harness, and then we waited anxiously to see if she would follow through on her curiosity.
And just like that, we have a salty sea lady!
We were beaming. Alert, but trying to play it cool, she spent the next hour in the sun with us, wind blowing through her fur. We gave her a ton of pets to show our approval.
Guinny was catching up to her brother Chase, who had initially proven to be more seaworthy. He found the right sailing spot first, was first to use the letterbox underway, and never had the same look of panic (or grumpiness) that we’ve seen from Guinny.
But on Friday, Chase turned out to be a total scaredy cat! We tried to coax him into the cockpit to join us, but he was terrified. So much for being seaworthy.
As for the “quiet afternoon at anchor”… well, this Friday the 13th turned out to be a bit cursed. When we arrived at Smuggler’s Cove on the east end of Santa Cruz Island, we found unpredicted swells and breeze coming right into the anchorage. As we watched the only other boat in the cove pull up his anchor and leave (not a good sign), we debated what to do: “It’s just one night!” versus “But it’s only been 30 minutes and this blows!”
(For other California boaters reading, yes, we have ordered a Flop Stopper, but we don’t have it yet.)
We decided to leave the anchorage and try Prisoner’s Harbor, 10 miles around the island and and a bit further from L.A.
We arrived at sunset, and the cats grew desperate for dinner.
Prisoner’s was quite calm at first, and we were really pleased with ourselves. But after dinner, the swells began to roll into this anchorage too. We were tossed back and forth all night. It was so unpleasant in the middle of the night that we almost laughed at the situation. Almost.
The leg to L.A. gave us the uneventful day we were looking for. Guinny made another appearance to sun herself and show her brother who the real adventure cat is. We arrived in Marina del Ray around 7pm—not what we had planned, but good practice entering a busy harbor after dark.
We’re here in L.A. for some scheduled boat maintenance, and then we’ll continue south!