Ladys Harbor

Sail to Ladys and Little Ladys anchorage on Santa Cruz Island with Capt. Dan Ryder and Sail Channel Islands
Ladys can accommodate one sailboat. Little Ladys, zero
Loc: north coast Santa Cruz Lat: N34-03.3 Long: W119-46.1 Last visit:July 2021
Tide/Sun/Moon/WX Dist: 9 Prisoner’s Harbor, Santa Cruz WX
Chart 18728 Santa Cruz Channel NPS Alerts
Skipper: Capt. Dan Boat: S/V Sancerre Capt. Dan Port: Channel Islands
Landing Permit Required Nature Conservancy permit app


Arch Rock at 45' rock help you locate Ladys, which is a mile or so away.
Arch Rock at 45′ rock help you locate Ladys, which is less than a mile away.

The harbor lies about 6 miles east of West End. Proceeding from the west, the harbor does not open up until well past Arch Rock. From the east, if you get to Arch Rock, you’ve passed it by a half mile or so.


Nothing that’s not on the chart, it’s just awfully narrow. The tricky part is that you need to anchor bow and stern. If there is an appreciable crosswind, I’d go somewhere else.

Arch Rock and the 45' are useful in finding the anchorage.
Arch Rock and the 45′ are useful in finding the anchorage.

However, on a nice day, with our transom over 18′ of water (12′ under the keel), our bow anchor ended up in 35.

A fairly gentle crosswind moved Sancerre quite close to the rocks even after resetting (twice!).

Nearing the mouth of Ladys from the west.
Nearing the mouth of Ladys from the west.

Think about going somewhere else if much more than 10 knots of wind is getting into the anchorage and have a solid plan for bailing out if things turn sour during the night. If you decide to stay in deteriorating weather, post an anchor watch.

Bailout tactics

Our first venture in here brought rain around midnight and zero visibility. We were a little uncertain of the exit heading. We now make sure we have a preplanned escape heading in any anchorage and a crewman assigned to the bow with our best flashlight in case we have to feel our way out.


Little Ladys is shallow and small.
Little Ladys/Babys is shallow, small and frequently turbulent.

Baby’s, also known as Little Lady’s, is the anchorage to the east. It would be insane to take a yacht of even modest size into that patch unless it is absolutely glassy. And then, what would be the point?

Going Ashore

If you intend to go ashore, you’ll need a landing permit from the Nature Conservancy. Go to permit for a pdf form, mailing and e-mailing instructions. Early spring is a great time to be here. Giant Coreopsis (right) cover many slopes and even cling to rock faces. The harbor teems with harbor seals with pups. One mother and pup swam to within 10′ of the transom and took a good look at us. After a few seconds of staring mom pointedly warned junior that we were a species to be avoided.


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



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