Day Two of the McNish Classic Yacht Race Adventure

Day Two was a sail to Smugglers Cove on the south east side of Santa Cruz Island.

Santa Cruz Island is the larger island to the right and Smugglers Cove is barely visible hard to the east facing the Anacapa Passage.

The sail had is own series of events too.  A few miles out of Paradise we happened to look to the windward side of the boat (offshore) and I'll be damned - its a shark easing southerly - no pictures but still.  First time I saw a shark in the wild.

And it got better.  We were all in the cockpit when Captain bolted upright at the helm...  huh?  Captain said somethings wierd up ahead and we all looked around and sure enough - there was an odd "yellowish" blob in the water directly ahead of the boat - kind of like a reef just under the water - but we were way off shore in deep water.  Captain screamed WHALE!

And sure enough the Dirigo II eased ahead as we closed in on the blob which moved to starboard.  We crowded the leeward rail and sure enough - the blobs crested and blew spouts.  It turned out to be two Blue Whales.  The long backs of the whales eased across the top of the ocean as they finished their breath and again eased below the surface.  I was stunned.  Now I had seen a Blue Whale in the wild.  What a great day at sea.

We began to settle in by pulling the sails down.  That's me in the picture below ready to pull down one of the jibs.

I wish I had a picture of us approaching Santa Cruz Island but I dont.  Still, you can see the Dirigo II anchored a few hundred yards off shore.  We went ashore for a look around.

Time to introduce an new player.  Mr. Len D.  Len needs a bit of introduction.  Len is the owner of Horizons West Adventures and he is our host on this trip.  Len is an exceptional host.  Len cooked all the meals aboard ship, made all the arrangements for the yacht race, arranged for the captain, arranged for the crew, and did a perfect job in each case.  Len is on the left in the picture below with Susanne on the beach at Smugglers Cove on Santa Cruz Island.  Len is explaining to Susanne that the beach at this location is actually the remnants of an Indian Mound containing centurys of the discarded debris from the Chumash Indians that previously lived on Santa Cruz Island.

Len has first hand knowledge of this region of Santa Cruz Island.  I understand that he lived here for a few years and has operated adventure trips to the island for several years.  Len gave us a tour of the area and told us that a treat awaited us after a short walk off the beach - we were curious about what was up the road????

Incredible.  A beautiful home was back in the canyon.  Apparently the house was plenty old having been built in the 1800's.  I wish I could tell you the whole story but it is to intreaguing to get it wrong - we need to go with Len again to get the story right.  Suffice to say - its old, its nice, and Len has a lot of history here.

We had a chance to walk all around the house peering into the windows.  The rooms inside were clean and ready to use.  The history according to Len was fascinating.

And as usual - all good things must come to an end.  Len toured us around the site pointing out interesting things as we walked back to the beach.  Mike resued us from the surf in the skiff as we waded back offshore.

While we were onshore we had a visitor pull up for the evening.  I wonder if she is racing in the McNish race on Saturday?

Spent - I kicked back in the cockpit of the Dirigo II soaking up the days events.  Overwhelming...  started the day in a rolly anchorage, powered across the Santa Barbara Channel to Santa Cruz Island, saw a shark headed south, saw a blue whale, landed on a beach just like a Navy Seal, toured a great historic spot on a seldom visited island.  Can this adventure get any better?

Click Here to go to Day Three