|Loc:Western tip Santa Cruz Island
|Last visit: July 2021
|Bechers Bay, Santa Rosa
|Santa Cruz Channel
|Skipper: Capt. Dan
|Boat: S/V Rainbow
|Port: Chan Islands
|Local Notice to Mariners
Getting to West Cove
We stopped here for lunch on a very calm Fall day, anchoring in the drying area on the four fathom line.
Fagan says this is a good spot if you get caught in a Santa Ana, which would appear to be true as the mountains are between you and the wind. If you’re fleeing a Santa Ana, you won’t be totally sheltered, but the forces of the storm will be blunted by the high bluffs. Other than a Santa Ana, anchoring here is foolhardy unless you are in very calm conditions. We were: zero wind and no swell. Here’s a link to an excellent airborne shot.
Approach and anchoring
We scoped out both sides of the anchorage. As there are many rocks near datum on the south side, we stayed in the northern half of the anchorage.
There’s nothing particularly tricky about the north side of the cove, though in past years kelp has made passage very difficult. Since about 2007, the cove has been largely clear of kelp.
We dropped our hook in 25 feet. Since we were only here for lunch and conditions were sublime, we did not set the hook, but veered out 4:1 chain. In the right conditions, this is a most beautiful spot, reminiscent, I think, of Maui. My guess is that you can only do what we did in the Fall and only on very calm days, otherwise the swell and wind will drive you onto the beach. Take a look at the satellite photo above – that’s some nasty surf. A normal day in these parts.
None that aren’t charted or visible.
Landing Permits Required
If you intend to go ashore, you’ll need a landing permit from the Nature Conservancy. Go to permit in the grid for a pdf form, mailing and e-mailing instructions.
BTW – going ashore in West Cove would be tricky, but right around the corner, Forneys Cove provides one of the easiest beach landings on the entire island.
If you have new or amplifying information concerning this anchorage or the surrounding area, please contact Captain Dan