Santa Barbara Anchorage


Loc: California main land Lat: N34-24.90 Long: W119-40.69 Last visit: Sept 2018
Tide/Sun/Moon/WX Sun Tide WX
Chart 18725 Pt. Hueneme to SB  Google Earth
Skipper: Capt. Dan Boat: S/V Sancerre Capt. Dan Port: Channel Islands


Santa Barbara is probably the prettiest spot on the civilized coasts. That is to say, we like the islands much better; but if you need fuel, provisions, night life or just crave a crowd, this is a darned good place. But this section is mostly about the anchorage.

The Harbor, if you must know, is a friendly place to do business. The Harbor Patrol monitors VHF channels 16 and 12 all day, everyday. Or you can call them at 805-564-5531.

If you want a transient berth, it’s strictly first come, first served. So it’s a good idea to have Plan B in hand. For us, that’s the anchorage.

Approach & Anchoring

In summer this place can be a bit daunting with a high concentration boats maneuvering near the harbor. You can expect to find everything from standup paddle boards to  200+ foot yachts, not to mention a Coast Guard cutter, harbor patrol and commercial fishing vessels. And also not to mention frequent races and racers who don’t think the Rules of the Road apply to them.

We always set up lookout sectors for each member of the crew on deck and call out traffic that might get within 100 yards.

Flora & Fauna

The usual SoCal collection of birds and sea lions, though this is a particularly good place to find gray whales, particularly during the spring migration. Particularly late in the migration when females stay close to shore to protect their calves. Remember, stand clear at least 300 feet.

The grays don’t have much of a spout — more like a perfume atomizer than the Buckingham Fountain that blues put up. You’re more likely to spot the animal or hear the spout before you see the vapor.


None noted that are not charted …. other than fog.


If you have new or amplifying information concerning this anchorage or the surrounding area, please e-mail Capt. Dan.

Sail for just a few hours …. or several days

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