Landing Cove Anacapa Island

Go to Anacapa Landing Cove with Capt. Dan Ryder and Sail Channel islands.
Landing Cove is a tricky place to anchor. Beware of swell.

Chart18729Anacapa PassageGoogle Map

Loc: North Shore Anacapa Island Lat: N34-01.0 Long: W119-21.5 Last visit: July 2021
Tide/Sun/Moon/WX Dist: 11 Port Hueneme WX
Skipper: Capt. Dan Boat: S/V Sancerre Capt. Dan Port: Channel Islands
Landing See Restrictions below Local Notice to Mariners NPS Alerts

Not really an anchorage

Eastern end of Anacapa Island. Landing Cove just to the right, Fagan's Lunch left of the spire
Eastern end of Anacapa Island. Landing Cove just to the right, Fagan’s Lunch left of the spire

Landing Cove Anacapa has priorities, and if you’ve managed to get out here on your own, you’re just about dead last. By that I mean, any Park Service boat and all the Island Packers boats are ahead of you in line. Don’t even think about tying up to one of the mooring buoys.

Approach & Anchoring

Our "outside" anchorage just off the western point of the cove.
Our “outside” anchorage just off the western point of the cove.

We anchor just off the point outside the cove. The point in the foreground of the picture at the right is where we usually drop the hook. It’s about 50 feet deep there. This spot is exposed to to the prevailing winds. If there are strong winds, this is not a good spot, additionally, if there is much of a swell, you’re wasting your time – or at least taking a big risk – trying to get ashore via dinghy or kayak. We never ever leave the boat unattended.

Our anchoring spots: Off the point near 7 1/2 and 150' east of the buoys.
Our anchoring spots: Off the point near 7 1/2 and 150′ east of the buoys.


Kayak gaggle near Landing Cove, Anacapa
Kayak gaggle near Landing Cove, Anacapa

There are numerous kayak-able caves in the area. If you’re interested in exploring these, the bookstore at the National Park headquarters has several books that describe the caves and techniques for exploring each of them. You can access the area via kayak outfitters in Channel Islands Harbor.

Kayak Caution

Particularly in smaller caves, beware of tide and swell. Prudent kayakers don’t enter caves if the tide is high or if there is more than a tiny swell. A helmet is always a good idea. It won’t keep you from getting crushed on the ceiling if a swell rolls in, but it will save you from falling rocks.

Flora & Fauna

Dense kelp forests are close to shore and tide pools hold the usual denizens. Brown Pelicans are in abundance as are cormorants, oyster catchers, western gulls and other species. You’ll also find sea lions and harbor seals in the small coves and perched on rocks. Keep clear of all of these critters by at least 30 meters.

For general info on Anacapa

Click NPS. For specific Channel Islands National Park boating information, click Boating

NPS Restrictions

A permit is not required to land or hike on East Anacapa Island. The landing dock is available for unloading purposes only. No craft, including kayaks and inflatables, should be left moored to the dock. You can, however, haul your kayak to the landing and then out of the way. There is a small crane and winch provided for the purpose.


Divers use the landing and swim in the immediate vicinity of the ladder. The dive flag is more or less permanent in summer, so proceed with caution.

Dive boats are frequent visitors here, usually anchoring bow and stern close to our favored location. The divers mostly stay in and near the kelp forest in that area. Though you may be under sail, do not expect the dive boats or Island Packers to give way. Be alert, be judicious.

If we enter the landing area for sightseeing, we back in. There is no room to turn around. If there is any sort of seaway running, there will be a significant surge, which gets worse toward the back of the cove.


Click for an excellent discussion of kayaking safety
If you’ve got something to add, please e-mail Captain Dan

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