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We're planning this trip and need some advice. Take the boat out to Santa Cruz, spend the night. Paddle over to Anacapa, spend the night. Last day, paddle back to Ventura harbor or Channel Island harbor, which ever would be closer.
How much time from island to island and how much time from island to harbor?
Any nasty currents?
Anything else we should consider?

Thanks for the help.

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I have a question for this thread...I'm planning a trip to the Channel Islands myself, still a few months out, objective is to paddle there and so I'm wondering if anybody has done any land to island from the north, say from above or below Pt. Conception to Santa Miguel or Santa Rosa Island?

The map shows a 25-30 mile stretch - no doubt prime whale area : ) - but I have heard quite a bit about the waters off Pt. Conception as being pretty gnar. Can anybody confirm this?

Maybe the best way to paddle out there is how Geoff did it, attack it from farther down the coast...Santa Barbara / Ventura to one of the more southern islands. I'll be paddling in from Morro Bay so I may have to allow for an extra day.

thanks for any thoughts,
I've not done Pt. Conceptionover to the islands, but am planning on doing that in Sept. We will be roughly following this route:


INCREDIBLE trip report Geoff! Bravo crossing, fog is scary.

Why are you choosing Sept. if you don't mind my asking?

How crazy would it be to cross at night?

Sounds like it was calm and clear at night, no fog. Lights can be seen from the mainland and from other ships. With GPS paddling at night might be 'safer' than paddling in the fog, right?
Sorry, just to be clear, the trip report I linked to is NOT mine. It's a freind of mine, Duane Strosaker. I've not done that trip before, but was inspired by Duane and will be doing nearly the same trip in Sept.

O yeah...I was trending all along. Duane Strosaker has a rad site...wow, all kinds of inspiring trip reports. Tip of the hat to Duane. Good pics and good prose.!

I am still wondering about crossing at night vs. crossing in the fog...what are the experienced thoughts on that?

I mean either way it's dangerous but it appears to be safer in calm and clear conditions, at least in my mind.

If you were to plug a GPS unit for open water kayaking which brand / model would you endorse?
I think paddling at night would be no more dangerous than paddling in the fog, maybe safer. I enjoy it too.

I haven't shopped for a GPS in many years, but no matter what they say, be wary of any waterproof claims and consider a drybag that lets you operate the GPS from inside.

Is Duane Strosaker on this site? Perhaps he could share the name of the GPS his buddy Jim used in their foggy crossing. I'll look for a contact on his website.
I did that same trip with Duane the following year. The crossing from Gaviota is definitely the riskiest part in terms of weather. And San Miguel has the roughest hike up to the campground. Santa Rosa has great boat camping on the beaches on the south side but not as many caves to explore. I'd highly recommend starting with Anacapa, Santa Cruz and maybe Catalina before you try paddling to any of the other islands.

The problem with night crossings in that area are the big boats - they have lights but it gets challenging to figure out how close they are and where they are heading. But if you cross back over on a clear night you do get lots of visual markers from the population centers on the mainland to guide you.

And for kayak navigation I recommend the Garmin 76csx. It's a little older but good screen, long battery life, good waterproofing and you can find a good deal if you search the internets.
Can't believe I am many moons late to reply to this, Bryant what a great post. Thank you! Seems I need to come to shore and check into my social sites more often : )

Searching the intardweb for a deal on the Garmin, sounds like the right kind of toy for me. I need techie gear to be at least as tough as I am.

Tip of my hat for your Channel Island beta, I agree with exploring the southern islands first. Still drawn to the adventure of the night crossing, perhaps in another year, big boats scare me but not as much as big boats in the fog. That's scary.

Thanks again, hopefully you've been out on the water as much as I have.




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