|Loc:Eastern north coast Santa Cruz||Lat: N34-02.9||Long: W119-44.2||Last visit: June 11|
|Tide/Sun/Moon/WX||Dist: 0||Prisoner’s Harbor, Santa Cruz||WX|
|Chart||18728||Santa Cruz Channel||NPS Alerts|
|Skipper: Capt. Dan||Boat: S/V Sancerre||Capt. Dan||Port: Chan Islands|
|Landing Permit||Required||permit app||Local Notice to Mariners|
Platts Harbor does not offer much protection. It’s clear from Google Earth that the swell comes straight into the anchorage, so we only anchor there in calm conditions. The last time we were there, we’d motored much of the day so felt fairly confident that our night would be restful. We initially backed in and set our anchors so that we were perpendicular to the beach. Even with the small swell that day, we got pretty uncomfortable with the swell hitting us on the beam. Besides a bad angle, we didn’t veer out enough chain in our first attempt. More below about the ensuing maneuvers. It took two attempts to get anchored properly. Our final spot put us almost parallel to the beach, which seems odd, but now we were bow to the swell.
It’s pretty straight ahead, just stay west of the visible rocks on the east side of the anchorage and anchor in 25 ft. or more and you’ll clear all hazards. The 45′ rock is a pretty spectacular formation and makes identifying your location quite easy. The 8′ rock on the way into the anchorage is normally home to a fairly large troop of inquisitive harbor seals.
The lay of the land suggests that you anchor perpendicular to the beach. You can see that arrangement in the pictures below. Unfortunately, any swell that comes your way will be on the beam. A better strategy is to anchor a bit further out on a single hook. If you want to be in close, then use two hooks, but set up parallel to the cliff west of the beach.
We did that on our second attempt, with the stern anchor in 20 ft. of water, the bow anchor in about 25 ft. We settled in with about 160 ft. of rode forward – all chain – 130′ aft. That felt really solid and we went off to play in our kayaks. If you’re going in that close, check the tide tables carefully. If you’ve got a fairly up-to-date chart plotter, that information is right at hand. If you’re not so equipped, use the link at the top of the page to get tide data, print it and take it with you … particularly if it is a new or full moon.
We did not have a permit so did not go ashore, but we did get close enough to see that in these conditions, landing would not be a problem. The beach itself is well protected, even if the anchorage is not.
None that aren’t charted or visible.
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.
More on jellies and other sea life at Monterey Bay Aquarium
If you’ve got questions or amplifying information, please write Captain Dan or call 805.750.7828.