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Killer SoCal Ta-Ta

There has been plenty of sun — and great people — for the sundown parties aboard Profligate.

Jane Roy
©2014Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Great sailing, terrific anchorages, wonderful hosts, endless sunshine and warm water have been the bywords of the second edition of the SoCal Ta-Ta cruisers’ rally from Santa Barbara to Catalina — with stops at Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands Harbor, and Paradise Cove. Today the 44-boat fleet will sail 37 miles from Paradise Cove to Catalina’s Two Harbors. And yes, as we write this at 7:30 a.m., the sun is already brilliant and once again there isn’t a trace of fog.

 And when the sun went down, the harvest moon came up over distant Anacapa Island and the 38-ft trimaran Reprieve.

Jane Roy
©2014Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Northern California sailors sometimes mock the sailing conditions in Southern California. They shouldn’t. The passages from Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz Island and from Santa Cruz Island to Channel Islands Harbor were pleasure sailing at its finest, with moderate breezes, flat seas, and warm air temperatures. Jim Eggleston and crew on his Corsair 31 tri Oragami even managed to hit 13 knots on the way to Santa Cruz. And yesterday’s run from Channel Islands Harbor to Paradise Park was not only warm, it was windy, with sustained 20 knots, gusting to 30 a couple of times. That’s all anyone in the Big Boat Series would have wanted. In fact, we wonder how many boat in the BBS hit 13 knots yesterday, as Origami did. 

 Beach Access, Talion and Sea Level elected to anchor at the Scorpion anchorage at Santa Cruz. It was as smooth as at Smugglers.

latitude/Richard
©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC
Farming proved to be a popular lay-day activity for the crew of Orange at Santa Cruz Island.

Jane Roy
©2014Latitude 38 Media, LLC

To date the fleet has spent two nights anchored at Santa Cruz Island, with most of the fleet at Smugglers, and last night at Paradise Cove. Fortunately, the threat of hurricane-generated surf hitting Smugglers didn’t materialize, and conditions at both locations were mellow. The huge harvest moon coming up over Anacapa was a spectacular sight, and the 74° water was an uncommonly sensual ocean treat for these parts.

The spacious anchorage at Smugglers.

latitude/Richard
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Our hosts have been fabulous: We had reserved slips at Santa Barbara Yacht Harbor and a great welcome party at the Santa Barbara YC. But nothing prepared us for the welcome put out by Michelle and Dan of Channel Islands Marina and Vintage Marina in Channel Islands Harbor. Stepping up at the last minute when Redondo Beach couldn’t accommodate the fleet, they provided free slips, opened all the showers and laundry rooms, provided a floating dock for the 130-person party, arranged for the music and inter-harbor transportation — what didn’t they do?

Circumnavigators Jim and Kent Milski sail across the front of Anacapa Island on the way to Channel Islands Harbor.

latitude/Richard
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC
Talion, Sea Level, and St. Somewhere converge near the entrance to Channel Islands Harbors. 

latitude/Richard
©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Of course, the most important part of any cruise is whom you sail with. We know we’ve got a great group, because we’ve met them all during the course of three sundowner sessions aboard the Latitude 38 mothership Profligate. As always, the variety of participants is what makes it fun. We’ve got everyone from Dave and Laurie Pisani, a physician and former teacher respectively, who trailered their 27-ft Odin the Wanderer from Salt Lake City just for the event. At the other end of the blue water spectrum we’ve got Jim and Kent Milski of Colorado, who recently circumnavigated aboard their Schionnning 49 cat Sea Level.

Two-year-old Grace of Reprieve enjoyed the great stop at Channel Islands Harbor. She’s using the Ta-Ta to get her sea legs for the upcoming Baja Ha-Ha. 

Reprieve
©2014Latitude 38 Media, LLC
St. Somewhere in the foreground at the start of the leg to Paradise Cove. 

latitude/Richard
©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

No time to write more, as this morning we’re off to Two Harbors and Saturday’s final party at the Bandstand. We’re ‘cookin’ curry, mon!’, so we wish you were here. Look for a full report on the Ta-Ta in the October issue of Latitude 38.

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 J/70 crews prepare their boats on Thursday morning. latitude/Chris
© Latitude 38 Media, LLCOur laptop’s dictionary defines "fluky": "subject to chance, unpredictable: Sailing conditions are generally good but wind can be fluky." Day