Valley – Blue Banks anchorages

Loc: South coast Santa Cruz Lat: N 33-58.5 Long: W 119-40.3 Last visit: May 2024
Tide/Sun/Moon/WX Dist: 3 Prisoners, Santa Cruz WX
Chart 18729 Anacapa Passage NPS Alerts
Skipper: Capt. Dan Boat: Sancerre Capt. Dan Port: Channel Islands
Landing Permit permit app Local Notice to Mariners

Valley – Blue Banks

NOAA Chart
NOAA Chart 18729
Valley anchorage SE Santa Cruz Island
Valley anchorage is at the terminus of the island’s central valley. It’s easy to spot the sheer white cliffs just east of the anchorage.

Valley – Blue Banks anchorages are frequently visited by dive boats and fishermen. To be perfectly candid, I can’t think of a reason to drop the hook here if you’re not diving or fishing. It’s an OK day, fair-weather anchorage, but even on the flat day when we visited, it was still stirred up. It might be OK for lunch, but no place we’d stay overnight.

Finding the anchorages

Blue Banks anchorage SE Santa Cruz Island
Blue Banks has extremely steep cliffs to the east as well as impressive ones to the west. It looks protected, but is susceptible to a nasty surge. Certainly not suitable for overnight.

The anchorages are about a mile and a half east of Alberts. The most obvious landmark (top picture) are the sheer white cliff and the cleft in the island – the central fault – that lies just behind valley anchorage. It’s visible in the top picture, but even more obvious in person.

On Chart 18729, the valley is nothing more than a short horizontal line. It really is more prominent than the chart leads you to expect.

Blue Banks lies about .5nm west of the point where the fault spills onto the beach. An extremely steep cliff marks the right side of the anchorage. And the cliffs near Blue Banks actually appeared blue.


Frankly, we’re not likely to stop here, at least not for a greater time than it takes to have lunch. If we do anchor, we plan to stay well off the beach in at least 35 feet to remain clear of rocks in the area.

Sail for just a few hours …. or several days

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