Log #61v To Los Angeles and San Diego

January 1, 2017 in Logs by Series, Series 61, The Logs

Log #61v To Los Angeles and San Diego

Rincon, Partida Cove, Islas Espiritu Santos

La Paz, Mexico

Jan. 3, 2017

Hi Folks,

I hope you had a good Christmas and Hanukkah and wish you all the best for the New Year 2017.

We are presently anchored in this large bay between two islands just north of La Paz. We have been snorkelling along some coral beds and last week snorkelled with a whale shark across the bay from La Paz. These large sharks are herbivores, and filter plankton through their wide mouths while lazily meandering close to the surface.


This log gets us through several stops around Los Angeles, and down to San Diego which was our last stop before crossing into Mexico.


I wont be able to send this out until we get back to La Paz in a few days, as we are gunkholing around Islas Espiritu Santos, an interesting volcanic island north of La Paz.

All the best,


Log #61v Los Angeles to San Diego
El Marito Cove, La Paz, Mexico
Jan. 1, 2017

61V-9From the Cojo Anchorage we went south towards the Channel Islands, a scattered group of eight islands off LA up to Point Conception. On the way we passed Irene, the first of many offshore oil rigs that dot the coastal ocean from Point Conception down to San Diego.  Passing north of San Miguel and Santa Rosa Islands we anchored, after avoiding a couple of kelp rafts, on the west coast of Santa Cruz Island in Forney Cove. However we found it exposed to three quarters of the compass and quite rolly. The island is 75 % owned by the National Conservancy and the remaing 25% by the National Park Service. The island has a craggy coastline, with few well protected (according to our evaluation) anchorages, steep cliffs and huge sea caves.  
South coast of Santa Cruz Island
These might be of interest with a charter or tour company, but we did not feel like trying to find or explore such features. As it was we weighed anchor after an hour of discomfort and sailed on along the south coast to anchor in Coches Prietos (33° 38.092′ N, 119° 42.400′ W), a more sheltered cove with a sandy beach at the head. We didn’t bother to go ashore as it is Conservancy land requiring a permit. There were a couple of other small fishing boats which anchored outside of us for the night.

We felt uncomfortable out in these wilderness islands with no secure anchorages or marinas if heavy winds come up, and so next day (Nov. 3) motor sailed 29 miles over to Oxnard, a northern suburb of LA on the mainland. On passage we had heavy winds of 15 to 20 knots from the northeast, allowing a good motor sail with only the genoa across the Santa Barbara Channel. A large pod of over fifty Pacific Whitesided Dophins cavorted around the boat at noon hour, an enjoyable sight.

We went from one extreme of isolated wilderness of the Channel Islands to the Channel Islands Harbour, filled with berthing for 2500 boats and an intricate residential canal system. When we were alongside the fuel dock near the entrance we called the Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club to enquire about reciprocal privileges, and they were most accommodating to use our Canadian Forces Sailing Association membership to moor at their Visitor’s dock. We got detailed directions which helped as we entered the maze of marinas, channels, and  canal-side luxury homes on our way into this densely inhabited harbour. We spent two nights alongside (34° 10.507′ N, 119° 13.695′ W), enjoying the restaurant, showers and WiFi of the club. We dinghied a mile or so into the canal system of palatial residential homes  to a large shopping centre to resupply.
The luxury homes all had docks in front, with large yachts or small canopied runabouts alongside.
The night before we left we enjoyed a Friday night happy hour with hors d’oeuvres, and met a few members who invited us to join them. We had good conversation and actually found one of them an avid Trump supporter who invited us to visit at her condo on Catalina Island. Very outgoing people!

Veleda at the Visitors’ Dock of the Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club

Thanks Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club.

Nov. 5 we left PCYC for a 45 mile run down the LA coast to the famed Marina Del Rey in the heart of Los Angeles. It was a motor trip in light winds all the way. The only stressful element was a fog that closed in causing us to put on the radar and navigation lights. The visibility lifted, then went dense again especially as we approached Marina Del Rey. It was disconcerting as, in limited visibility, we entered the main channel in heavy traffic, some sailboats under full sail and others with spinnakers flying. We couldn’t raise the marina on VHF and just motored around the Fisherman’s Village to go into a slip (33° 58.577 ‘ N, 118° 26.723’ W) at the guest docks at Burton W. Chace Park, the first basin to starboard, Basin H. There were many open slips available.

Moorage was a nominal fee which permitted us to stay for four nights, as we needed to get several maintenance tasks completed, some of which required the services of a skilled mechanic. Fortunately just across the basin from our slip was a boat yard which provided a mechanic next day to check the valve clearances, check the foundation bolts, and put a hose clamp on the shaft to allow assessment of the shaft seal bellows. We had problems with our Honda generator, and took it to a nearby dealership, which found that it would be more costly to identify and repair than to replace it, which we did. So, we had some expensive ship repairs while there.

The marina is in close proximity to LAX international airport and the famous Venice Beach area, with muscle bound enthusiasts and beach bunnies flaunting themselves along the beach strip.


We also had a chance to meet with an old friend from my home town of Dundas, Ontario who now lives in Los Angeles.  Cindy is the younger sister of Dallas Platt, my old high school chum who now lives in Oregon, and whom we saw when we were in Newport, Oregon last month. It is good to reconnect with old friends.
We strolled through the touristy Fisherman’s Village and I enjoyed the latin music that was featured that weekend. Many people were dancing to the Central and South American rhythms, some good tango dancers, and others just swaying to the music.

Dancing at Fisherman’s Village

Nov. 8 we slipped at 0750 and went over to the fuel dock for a pump out ($8.00), and gas for the outboard and diesel before setting off for a 34 mile motor down to the equally famous Long Beach of LA. On the way we saw a couple of pods of dolphins feeding, but they did not come over to the boat. We passed a couple more oil platforms, an economic lifeline for California.

We were able to anchor behind an oil platform island (33° 45.417′ N, 118° 09.474′ W) for the night, in view of the fabled Queen Mary liner that served as a troop transport in WW II. She is a bit dowdy, but still serves as a tourist attraction, convention centre, and bed and breakfast. Her size is now equalled and surpassed by current cruise ships.

 RMS Queen Mary

Cruise ship and Queen Mary

I had been on the Queen Mary in LA before, but my first memory of her was when I was crossing the Atlantic in 1957. As a lookout on HMCS Lauzon, I reported a red object far on our starboard bow on the horizon to the watch officer (I was a lowly officer cadet on the frigate). As I watched the object come over the horizon, it materialized as the red funnels of the Queen Mary on her crossing from Southampton to New York City. She has a lot of history behind her! Judy and I were privileged to sail on the Queen Mary 2 a few years ago with a contingent of former Navy officers from New York to Southampton.

The island behind which we were anchored appeared as a private luxury resort, with an illuminated waterfall at night. However it was an oil platform on the island disguised as a resort. In the morning a ferry transported the workers changing shifts for this island and another oil rig island in the bay. The oil rigs mustn’t mar the view from LA! We were to see several towers disguising the oil rigs along the LA shoreline.
However, as we motored down the coast from Long Beach, we saw a few undisguised oil platforms fairly close in to shore.

Note that this first rig is close to the green marker buoy near the main channel. Notice also the smog layer over LA.
This second one shows another rig on shore disguised with an enclosed tower in the lower right side of the picture.


Our next destination was Newport Beach, another wealthy coastal town just 21 miles south of LA. Here we were to meet with a friend of a friend who has been following my logs, but whom we had never met. We had instructions as to how to get to his place, and a latitude and longitude where his boat is out front of his home. It was an intricate passage down a main channel, then several turns though the residential canals to a wide lagoon, completely surrounded by million dollar plus homes, each of which had its own dock. We did not have a phone number or street address for this individual, and did not know which house and dock was his. We anchored in the middle of this lagoon (33° 36.720′ N, 117  53°.924′ W), and I dinghied to a dock to ask where he might live. Of course no one was at home the first dock I stopped at. I then went alongside the house out onto the street. Not a soul was in sight. I knocked at a dozen doors of these mansions before I found one that was answered. Actually I did not knock on a door, but rang a bell on the outer gate that enclosed a locked walled small garden or patio area of most of the houses. The elderly couple in the one that answered the bell invited me in and checked their phone book for me to give me an address a few doors down. They were a very pleasant couple who had a coffee plantation in Hawaii or Central America and gave me a package of their coffee beans. Friendly people, once they knew who you were.
We found our friend, who has an immense house and a 50 foot luxury yacht and canopied runabout on his dock. His house was appointed with statuary, with a dozen or so statues tastefully placed on the main floor and in illuminated niches on both sides of the second floor balcony.    

While talking with him, we noticed a flashing blue and red light coming into the lagoon where Veleda was anchored. On going out in the dinghy, we were informed by the Harbour Police that we were not to anchor there. Some one had phoned the Harbour Police about Veleda at anchor. We shifted our friend’s runabout and took Veleda alongside his dock for the night.
We left next morning for Oceanside, 36 miles down the coast from Newport Beach. Here the marina was closed for the weekend, but we put the nominal $25.60 for one night at $0.80 a foot in a self pay envelope for a quiet night alongside (33° 12.560′ N, 117° 23.890′ W).

Next day, Nov. 12, we were on our way down to Mission Bay, just outside of San Diego, our last stop before entering Mexico.

The distances for this log in the chartlet below are as follows:

Cojo Anchorage to Santa Cruz Is. – 51.4 NM
Santa Cruz Is. to Channel Islands Harbour – 28.6 NM
Channel Islands Harbour to Marina Del Rey – 45.5 NM
Marina Del Rey to Long Beach – 33.5 NM
Long Beach to Newport Beach – 21.5 NM
Newport Beach to Oceanside – 36.5 NM
Oceanside to Mission Bay – 30.8 NM
Mission Bay to San Diego – 16.3 NM
San Diego to Ensenada, Mexico – 67.6 NM