Our friends Dan, Molly, Jennifer, Mark from Cal Sailing Club and Mark’s friend Nick came down for a three-day weekend at Pierpont Performance Sailing. We made the most of it, getting out the Wetas, the support RIB, and the big trimaran Orange for an overnight trip to Santa Cruz Island.
It was this group’s first time on a Weta—and their first time in Ventura Harbor. Fellow Weta sailor Bob Shirley was there to show them the way, and they wasted no time getting to the fun zone, taking the little boats outside the breakwater where the wind was blowing a brisk 15 knots.
We launched the support RIB soon after and followed them out to take some photos. Looks like they’re having a good time!
After a few full-throttle reaches around Pierpont Bay, everyone returned wet and smiling, ready for a warm shower and some chowder at Brophy Bros.
Friday night was spent aboard our big trimaran, Orange, which left us well-positioned for a morning departure to Santa Cruz Island in the morning. We set off at 9:00a, motoring west until the sea breeze filled in. The sun came out and so did the wind, sending us on a spirited beat to the island.
We dropped anchor at Pelican anchorage on the west side of the island in the early afternoon with plenty of daylight remaining for snorkeling, swimming, and exploring on the stand-up paddleboard.
Molly was planning a first-rate dinner of tossed salad, grilled chicken, and wild rice, so closer to sunset, she sent most of the crew ashore. You know what a smart move that was if you have ever tried to stage a complex meal in the galley of a boat with seven people aboard.
Paul took the shore crew in the support RIB to the drop site on the far side of the anchorage’s headland. We hiked up to the point to take in the views, and to look at the ruins of an old homestead overlooking the anchorage.
After taking in the scenery (and the smell of dinner on the grill), we were picked up by the RIB at the base of the caves on the near side of the headland. Paul took us back to Orange where we all enjoyed an excellent dinner and sundowners aboard.
One of the best things about overnighting on a trimaran is sleeping on the nets under the stars. Throw down a camping pad (for insulation) and a sleeping bag, and be lulled to sleep by the boat’s gentle motion (and the barking of sea lions).
The next morning, we left Orange at anchor and took the RIB along the coast of the island to Painted Cave. The cave is 160 feet tall at the entrance and has several chambers large enough to be navigable by boat. We took the RIB as far in as the third chamber, where sea lions huddle on a rock and entertain themselves by barking into the echo chamber under the island. It is absolutely dark at that point, so a flashlight is definitely recommended—especially if you are the least bit claustrophobic.
Cal Sailing Club is based in Berkeley, and with our guests still having a six-hour drive ahead of them, we returned to Orange, weighed anchor, and began the trip downwind back to Ventura. The spinnaker run back wasn’t quite as brisk as the beat over, but the dolphins came out to entertain us. We saw about six or seven separate pods; each came close enough to swim around and under the boats for a minute or two before continuing on their way.
It was a fun, boat-filled weekend with good weather and great company. We enjoyed hosting, and will likely have more tri-curious members of the club come down for some warm(er) weather SoCal sailing.
Check out the rest of the photos from our photographer-on-the-scene Jennifer Kroon.