Posted by: Sailing Camelot | September 10, 2010

Arrived at Santa Barbara

We left Half Moon Bay bound for Santa Barbara on Tuesday Sep 7th at 9:40 am.

 The trip down the coast was all in all pretty boring. Cloudy, light winds and wet. The marine layer continued down the coast and at times felt like light rain. We stayed between 25-40 miles off shore until turning at Point Arguello and entered the Santa Barbara Channel. We arrived in Santa Barbara at 7am on September 9th and are spending the weekend. We traveled 281 NM in about 44 hours. We will leave Santa Barbara on Monday (Sept. 12th)and explore the northern Channel Islands. Then over to Marina Del Rey and King Harbor in Redondo Beach.  

Here are some highlights of the trip down the coast:  

Things got a little exciting as we entered Monterey Bay… We saw Blue Whales, Orcas and Dolphins. At one point we were sitting in the cockpit. I was tired and thought I was seeing things, but there on the port side of the boat was a whale. It rolled over on its back, rubbed Camelot and gave her a little slap on the quarter. It looked like it was trying to hump Camelot! Or maybe propositioning… The whale slid down the boat and once 3 feet behind us, it raised its tail up in the air as if to wave goodbye and disappeared. The tail on that thing was as wide as our dinghy, which is 10.5’.

During the first night, the marine layer dropped and there was limited visibility, which had us all a little on edge after the whale sex with Camelot. There was also a light mist that kept everything pretty wet, including us.

Standing night watches can be pretty boring, especially with no visibility. Around Point Sur, Tom chatted on the radio with a US Coast Guard Cutter heading to Monterey Bay. They seemed just as happy to have something to do as we did.

About midnight, Corbett saw the first phosphorescent lights off the stern of the boat. The sizes ranged from small golf balls to large basketballs, with the occasional fish swimming by causing a green trail. I can only describe these as a Green Chemical Light Sticks being thrown in the water. Ok… before you think we went nuts, look it up. The phosphorescence is caused by small microorganisms in the water.

The remainder of the trip was uneventful and we motor-sailed down the coast until Point Arguello. We had all anticipated this and figured since we got by here twice before without bad weather that we were due to get slapped around a bit. Instead, the winds freshened and the seas were behind us. We sailed the last 90 miles to Santa Barbara unscathed. The boat speed was 7-8 knots over the ground for most of that portion of the trip.

 At Point Conception, the cloud cover broke and we were treated to a light show of millions of stars. It made you feel incredibly small in this very large universe. We also started seeing the off-shore oil wells, which were so brightly lit they looked like small cities.  

We arrived in Santa Barbara Harbor at 7am on September 9th and checked in with the Harbor Master’s Office. The staff there is very friendly and helpful and got us checked-in in a few minutes. We were assigned an end-tie with a beautiful view of both the Santa Barbara Hills and the wharf. Santa Barbara Harbor is a busy place with both commercial and recreational boats. During the evening we watched the Sea Urchin divers unload their catch.

Santa Barbara Harbor

Santa Barbara Hills


  1. What do you get when you cross a whale with the Camelot? A Whale-of-a Lot?

  2. Is there a law in California about fornicating with the whales? Oh that’s right, it’s CA so probably not.

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