Valley – Bluebanks anchorages

Loc: South coast Santa Cruz Lat: N 33-58.5 Long: W 119-40.3 Last visit: Apr 2021
Tide/Sun/Moon/WX Dist: 3 Prisoners, Santa Cruz WX
Chart 18729 Anacapa Passage NPS Alerts
Skipper: John Gilbert Boat: S/V Sherpa Capt. Dan Port: Ventura
Landing Permit permit app Local Notice to Mariners

Valley – Bluebanks

NOAA Chart
NOAA Chart 18729

Valley – Bluebanks 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

Valley anchorage is at the terminus of the island's central valley.
Valley anchorage is at the terminus of the island’s central valley.

The most obvious landmark is the cleft in the island – the central fault – that lies just behind valley anchorage. It’s visible in this picture, but much 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 to to expect.

Bluebanks lies about .5nm west (pic below) of the point where the fault spills onto the beach. The cliffs near Bluebanks actually appeared blue, but it was an overcast day and everything was gray-blue.


Bluebanks sometimes lives up to its name.
Bluebanks sometimes lives up to its name.

We didn’t drop our hook in either of these anchorages. We discussed it, though, and decided that we’d probably anchor in about 40′ of water at Valley because of the numerous rocks near datum. Bluebanks would allow us to go in a bit shallower, but not closer to the beach than about 300′ allowing the boat to swing no closer than 150′ from the shore.

Uncharted Hazards

There are rocks near datum close to the beach in both anchorages


This article is not much more than a place holder, so, if you have pictures to share or new or amplifying information concerning this anchorage or the surrounding area, please contact Capt. Dan. His e-mail link and phone are top left.

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