In 2009 Francis Hawkings generously shared with the Royal Cruising Club Pilotage Foundation his first set of cruising notes for the Southern California Channel Islands and we made them available as a PDF download.
Now, 12 years on, Francis has updated his earlier publication which has been enriched with a wealth of images of landfalls and anchorages – some helpfully annotated - to comprise an authoritative and attractive companion for cruising the islands. The Pilotage Foundation is delighted to add this to their steadily growing portfolio of PDF publications and is enormously grateful to Francis for sharing his cruising knowledge of this area.
The Foundation is also grateful to Jenny Taylor-Jones and Jane Russell for their production and editorial input, in particular the incorporation of chart and satellite images, additional photographs and graphics to further enhance the work.
The Channel Islands of Southern California break into two groups. To the north are four islands running east to west from Point Magu on the mainland: Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel. These are all easily accessible from Channel Islands Harbor (part of the town of Oxnard), Ventura or Santa Barbara. Further south lie Santa Barbara Island, Santa Catalina, San Nicolas and San Clemente. These lie closer to the Los Angeles and Long Beach/San Pedro mainland harbours.
The islands make a lovely cruising ground in all seasons. I recommend them as a stopping point on a cruise down from Alaska to Mexico. The islands are enjoyable and the mainland towns have all the facilities you can imagine.