Frenchys Cove

Frenchy's cove on and all-day sailboat charter boat rental
Frenchys is at the base of the mountain on west island

Chart18729Anacapa PassageGoogle Map

Loc: North Shore Anacapa Island Lat: N34-00.5 Long: W119-24.4 Last visit: March 2015
Tide/Sun/Moon/WX Dist: 11 Port Hueneme WX
Skipper: Capt. Dan Boat: S/V Sancerre Capt. Dan Port: Channel Islands Harbor
Landing Restrictions NPS Alerts Local Notice to Mariners

Frenchys Cove

On a clear winter day, Anacapa is so inviting that local sailors occasionally call in sick to enjoy mid-week solitude at Frenchys Cove. It’s an easy 12nm run from Channel Islands, about 15 from Ventura. This picture was shot from a distance of 8nm and is on a line direct from Channel Islands Harbor. The spot just to the left of the high peak is Frenchys Cove.

Let’s Do Lunch

Frenchys Cove, the most popular lunch spot on the island, provides some protection from west wind and swell. We usually anchor in about 25′ – 35′ of water slightly west of the gap between the west island and the middle island. But there are numerous spots sheltered (somewhat) from the west wind. When the wind tends to the north, the areas of shelter are reduced. Any wind of significance from NE to NW will make this spot uncomfortable and possibly dangerous. This is decidedly not a suitable overnight anchorage.

Restrictions and Cautions

There is a small beach in Frenchys, which is about the only place you can go ashore. You're not allowed up the mountain -- that's for rangers, pelicans and ornithologists only.
There is a small beach in Frenchys, which is about the only place you can go ashore. You’re not allowed up the mountain — that’s for rangers, pelicans and ornithologists only.

A permit is not required to land or hike on East Anacapa Island or at Frenchys Cove. West Anacapa Island (except at Frenchys Cove) is a protected research natural area and is closed to visitor access. The waters on the north side of West Anacapa Island are closed most of the year to protect nesting pelicans as well.

Note: PWC – personal watercraft – are prohibited in Marine Reserve Areas. Click for Marine Reserve information and restrictions.

Cautions

– Getting to any of the Channel Islands means crossing the Traffic Separation Zone i.e. “Shipping Lanes.” The rules tell us sailors to remain clear, but, if we must cross to do that at best possible speed at right angles to the zone.

Coastwise traffic is frequently heavy and the massive container ships often truck through at 18 knots. If equipped with radar, it is wise to keep a close watch even on clear days. Monitor #16 and turn up the radio volume in case one of these monsters hails you, and, of course, keep a sharp visual watch.

Approach

When heading to Frenchys from Ventura or Channel Islands Harbor, shape course for the mountain on the West Island.

We anchor in 20-25 feet of water, which puts us pretty close to shore. For a longer (longer than lunch) stay, I drop the hook in 30 -35 feet to get a bit more margin from the rocks.

Approaching Anacapa from the West, specifically, when leaving Smuggler’s anchorage on Santa Cruz, the West Island is prominent. A reef extends a bit to the west. According to the Coast Pilot, approaching in low visibility can be dangerous as the slope of the beach is precipitous and soundings give no warning of the proximity of the island.

The Anacapa Light, Arch Rock and Cathedral Cove, all great photo ops, lie about 2.5 nm east.

For additional NPS information on Anacapa wonders, history and culture – including info about Frenchy LeDreau and his cove; click NPS Anacapa Info

Who was Frenchy?

Described as a hermit who liked people, Raymond LeDreau arrived on Anacapa in 1928, or thereabouts.  and stayed in the vicinity for nearly three decades. Learn more at Frenchy LeDreau.

Updates

If you have new or amplifying information concerning this anchorage or the surrounding area, please contact Capt. Dan. His e-mail link and phone are top left.

 

Links

Wreck: Winfield Scott

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