Saturday evening at Santa Cuz Island

Beetle is happily at anchor adjacent the USCG mooring ball at Smugglers Cove at Santa Cruz Island. There are a dozen or so other boats at anchor in the cove, it’s calm, warm, not much breeze, and a bit rolly but not too bad from the three foot southerly swell coming in from Hurricane Linda way to the south. I had expected there to be many more boats here, particularly as Corinthian YC and Anacapa YC both seem to have cruise-outs happening this weekend, but they must be somewhere else. This evening there are more boats here and there’s plenty of room for more.

I departed Channel Islands Harbor this morning to spend a couple of days out this way, the weather forecast called for fairly light air for the next several days and it looked like a great time to get off the dock and hang out on the hook for a change. In theory Jeremy and Diane on his Newport 41 Main Squeeze would be here as they had run up to Smugglers on Friday. I met them heading out this morning as I arrived – turns out their battery bank had failed, lasting only two hours. I bet it was a dark evening last night on his boat. Diane told me that to get the engine started they wired together the various power tool batteries they had and that was enough to get the starter motor to turn, so they were heading back to the marina to sort out batteries.

There was very little wind this morning for my three hour (relatively slow) motor to Smugglers, several groups of dolphins stopped by briefly to play at the bow, visibility was 10 miles. Singlehanded Transpac friend Steve on Westerly happened by, he was rolling in from Yellow Bank and it was fun to say Hi to him on the radio. He likes to do a circle cruise from Channel Islands to Paradise Cove to Santa Barbara Island to Santa Cruz Island to Channel Islands again, he said there’s usually enough wind to sail at least two of those legs and sometimes more; I may have to try that. He also mentioned it does not look like a good year to head for Mexico come November, he skipped going last year due to Covid and is likely to skip again this year. I have to agree with him, not the time to be heading south.

On the boat project front I had thought I was all done with fiberglass work following the instrument pod modification, only to discover a drip on the underside of a bolt holding the starboard inboard jib track to the deck. Examination established that the T-track was badly corroded on the underside, the resulting aluminum oxide had compressed some of the deck coring, this bent the bolt holding the plastic T-track end stop in place and water was now moving down the end stop bolt. Rats! I’ve pulled the T-track, sanded the deck back to good glass, applied six layers of 10oz cloth, ground that down, applied fairing, ground that down – and am now awaiting the arrival of a new four foot section of black anodized aluminum T-track, which arrives Wednesday. Seems like a perfect excuse to stop working on Beetle and instead go hang out on the water and enjoy the scenery. August is particularly nice time to be out on the water in Southern California, it’s warm, most of the fog is gone, a great place to read a book.

So that’s the plan for the evening, barbecue up a little chicken, watch the sun set behind the island, and enjoy my books!

– rob/beetle

One response to “Saturday evening at Santa Cuz Island

  1. Sounds like a great plan. Thanks for the update. Dave

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