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Have We Asked You About Central California Recently?

In what has become something of a New Year’s ritual, we headed down to San Luis Obispo on December 31, 2019, to see friends, and were again charmed by the beachy, sailory nooks that are Cayucos, Morro Bay and Port San Luis. We have asked this question before, but we thought we’d do another show of hands: Who from the Latitude Nation is down in Central California? Please be sure to let us know by commenting below, or emailing us here. As always, we’d love to see the pictures.

Morro Bay, as seen here in late December 2017, is clearly home to more than a few sailboats.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim

We’ve heard many sailors in transit say that California is short on ports to duck into while transiting the coast, but we’re curious how many of you have stayed in Central California on your way north or south. How were the entrances to the harbors? How were the accommodations once you were anchored or moored?

Morro Rock is one the Nine Sisters — or the Morros — which are a chain of abruptly rising volcanic mountains that give Central California its unique geographic charm.
© 2020
Once you turn the corner at Morro Rock, the Bay seems quite tranquil.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim
But the entrance to Morro Bay can get a bit sketchy when a winter swell is running. This would be a nightmarish sight if it were anyone else besides the Coast Guard, who train in big waves all the time.
© 2020 The Coast Guard Channel
There was a little swell running in Morro Bay on January 2 (Morro Rock is just behind us). Thank goodness for the telephoto lens.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC /
Also . . . otters.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim

Anyway, enquiring minds want to know. Where are the Central California sailors, or the sailors who have visited Central California?


  1. Chris M 4 years ago

    Went to school in San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) and lived there for four years. Great school and fantastic place to spend time during your college years. I spent many afternoons surfing at “the rock” and recall a few days when the swell was so big (20ft +) and the tide just right the swell would wrap around the jetty and into the harbor itself. On the one or two days a year when conditions were right hundreds of guys would turn up. Good times

  2. John 4 years ago

    Pfeiffer Cove just south of Pt. Sur. Go in close in the summer. It’s big enough for maybe 6 boats.

  3. James W Graham 4 years ago

    Although I live in Annapolis, MD (aka NapTown) now. I am a native Californian and went to Cal Poly, SLO. Still love the area and visit a couple time a year when out West on business. As an added benefit the Central Coast has great wine tasting with a few miles of SLO.

  4. Roger Briggs 4 years ago

    Lived in SLO County since 1975, after moving from Berkeley, and working for the Cal Sailing Club (around the time Paul Kamen first started there. I used to race against him on Sunday in the Lidos.). I participate in Morro Bay and Port San Luis racing (MBYC and SLYC, respectively) on other people’s boats. We also have lake racing in the winter. I have sent in stories and pics from the annual Zongo Race in August from Morro Bay to Avila Beach. Our boat is 70 miles south in Santa Barbara Harbor. Short clip of SLYC racing:

  5. Craig Russell 4 years ago

    We departed from SF in September of 2018 for a voyage deep into Mexico and back on my 40′ Jeanneau. We harbor hoped down the coast (HMB, Santa Cruz and Monterey) in ideal conditions (10-25kt NW winds). Our first big overnight sail was from Monterey to Morro Bay. We had great sailing and the boat and crew were happy. We arrived in Morro Bay the next morning and tied up at the yacht club. The folks were very nice and the town was very cute. Our next overnight passage was to Santa Barbara and around Point Conception. We departed mid-morning to time our rounding of this famous point about midnight. We were 10 miles off the land as we rounded in 20 knot winds. We got slammed by one big wave and a loud boom as it hit the hull and our boat spun 180 degrees. We resume our course and arrived in Santa Barbara the next morning. Getting a slip during our stay in SB was never an issue. We would do 3-7 day sails out to Santa Cruz Island and the return to provision and pick up visiting friends for a sojourn to the islands. We stayed in SB for 3 weeks and enjoyed visiting downtown and riding bikes to the surrounding points. We enjoyed our time on the central coast very much! Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island was one of the many highlights on our seven-month voyage.

  6. Dennis Bailey 4 years ago

    I’m an MBYC member and first started sailing my first boat there in the late 70’s. It’s suffered a bit from “progress” but still tolerable and on weekdays retains its small town vibe. Today my wife and I continue to sail Rosy out of the Morro Bay State Park marina into the big blue for daysails. Weekday sailing often provides expansive and empty seas except for the sea life.(Sorry, don’t know how to attach photo.)

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