A calm Labor Day at Santa Barbara anchorage

It’s been a most pleasant two days here on the hook outside the Santa Barbara Municipal Harbor, anchored out with the gang of B-dock boats outside Stearns Wharf. Pole Dancer supplied most of the merriment what with eveninng tunes, foods, gatherings, and sundowners. Gai on his Cal 2-46 Magi-Cal also made it up, it’s his first big trip with the new-to-him boat. Jeremy sailed up on his Newport 41, and when the wind died off that made his the last boat to arrive.

On the way to Santa Barbara we caught up with Pole Dancer and were close enough to call over to each other. It was a little closer than Roger wanted us to be.

The holding ground has been good, with extra-foggy mornings that eventually cleared to bright sunny afternoons with good breeze at 12-15 knots – more than sufficient for Beetle’s wind generator to kick in and help keep the batteries charged. Strangely enough a 35′ ketch rig boat managed to sail poorly through the anchorage and fetch up directly on the beach in front of a large hotel. Gai said it was like watching a slow motion disaster. The little boat had half a jib up, no mainsail, and part of the mizzen sail hoisted – one wonders why they didn’t try to anchor when they couldn’t turn the boat for whatever reason. The boat was pulled off the beach by evening and I saw it tied up in the harbor – so at least it didn’t break apart of sink. And the headsail was still half-way up – most odd.

Pole Dancer has a new large 3.5 KW generator lashed to the cabin top with cargo straps, to which Mac and Roger applied a propane conversion kit such that it will run on propane fuel instead of gasoline. This weekend was the first big test of the unit – and it worked well, running most of the day to keep up with their freezer’s need to maintain ice cream at the proper temperature. I was impressed at how quiet the generator is – perhaps propane-fired internal combusion engines are not as noisy as the same engine running on gasoline. Things to go learn about.

I spent most of Saturday playing taxi-driver around the anchorage and to-from shore as Beetle’s dinghy was the first one up and working. There was more than a little spray to get everyone in the dinghy wet when tooling in to shore with three people being delivered to shore from, including Gai’s friend’s dog from New York; the dog was more than a little soaked upon arrival at the launch ramp for her afternoon walk.

Kristen at the winery, tables outside and nicely shaded. She is now a proper member of the winery, and oddly enough so is Roger who unexpectedly was listed as being married to her. We all thought that was quite funny. I don’t know if Roger’s girlfriend will feel quite the same way about it.

Sunday was more fishing and attempted crabbing off Pole Dancer, though no fish or crabs were obtained. Roger and Kristen went ashore to check out the local wineries, Kristen returned with four fine bottles of wine – one which was consumed that evening to accompany the giant T-bones that Roger found at the local market.

It’s now Monday, the big holiday ’round these parts, and Beetle elected to remain here today while everyone else heads back to Oxnard. We’ll make the trip back tomorrow and use today for relaxing in the sun, reading a fun book, and Kristen is keen to visit some of the other wineries in town. Forecast is for calm and more calm therefore I’m not expecting the wind generator to do much for the batteries. So this morning I’m running the little Honda generator which produces sufficient 110v power to run the 40 amp DC battery charger – that will bring the batteries up nicely if somewhat noisely.

Enjoy the day!

– rob

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