Back to Pelican Bay, 26 NM, 6 hrs motoring
So we left Channel Islands Harbor at 7:30 a.m., bound to return to
Santa Cruz Island and Pelican Bay once again. As well as
tending to chores, we had waited an extra day before departing to skip a little
bit of rough weather that was making it's way up from the south. However,
when we got out of the harbor, the sea had not abated very much, and we got
4-6 ft waves (occasional 8-9's), and a brisk 12-18 knot wind, both right
on our nose, all day long. Even at full throttle, which usually gives us 6 knots,
Mandala was only able to make slightly better than 3 knots, crashing
thru the waves. One wave even buried the bow, for the first time I
can remember, resulting in about 2 inches of green water over
the whole front of the boat (and spray on the helmswoman).
It was fun though, and apart from the ride, we arrived safely
at Pelican Bay around 1:30 in the afternoon, with our batteries
fully charged, and dropped the hook in about 45' of water.
We also set a stern hook, in accordance with convention, as
the other boats were all on dual hooks. We spent the remainder of the day just putzing
around, deploying the dinghy, going for a dinghy ride, cooking
a nice dinner, and relaxing.
At night, we saw little green dots of light in the water and later
determined that they were small lumincescent jellyfish.
The next morning we were awake by 7:30 a.m., and by 9:00 or so we
had explored and fitted all the snorkeling gear and were ready to
jump in! We just went off the back of Mandala and cruised along
the cliffs right behind the boat.
We saw quite an array of underwater wildlife, including the
prominent golden Garibaldi fish, some Kelp Bass, schools
of Anchovies, and a bunch of other pretty fish that I don't
know the name of. The urchins were beautiful shades of red
and purple, and in general we had a really good time.
We brought an underwater camera with us, and took a lot of pictures,
but it's an art form unto itself. The wetsuits are buoyant, so it's
difficult to get under water and stay there. Much easier with
tanks and weights. In any event, we had fun stnorkeling and
took some pictures.
We took the dinghy (which we have named 'Little Buddha') around to Tinkers
Cove again, beached her, and went for nice little hike up to the ridge
overlooking Pelican Bay. We brought a sack-lunch with us and just enjoyed
the spectacular views while munching on our sandwiches.
We went snorkeling again in the afternoon, and then joined new friends
John and Maggie on their boat, Voyager, for evening cocktails
consisting of various rums with fruit juices. They were a font
of knowledge about the islands and sailing in general and gave
us many tips for the now required return trip to this wonderful
place. It was a very enjoyable evening,
and we eventually made it back to Mandala to bar-b-que some steaks
and fish for dinner, crashing finally to the gentle rocking
in this very protected little bay.
The next morning (after our third night altogether in Pelican Bay), we
pulled up the hook, and said a somewhat sad farewell to Santa Cruz Island
and set a course to Isthmus Bay, on Catalina Island.