Cuylers - San Miguel Definitely the most remote anchorage of the entire Channel Island chain. The place looks just like it did when Capt Cabrillo came to hide out over 500 years ago. You can almost see the ghosts of Cabrillo, his ships & crew as you paddle towards shore on the foggy mornings; you certainly feel their presents....oooooohhh :-O
While contemplating this trip we noticed the buoy just a bit windward of the top of San Miguel gets about 50 knots of wind more often than not:-O We planned our passage early in the am to avoid the dependable prevailing high winds common in the area. We arrived to Cuylers before noon with hardly any wind along the way up from Forneys - Santa Cruise. The wind was building as we found our way into the massive 'more than 1/2 moon' harbor with a very large majestic rock/isle standing guard. I could imagine there was room for 100's if not 1000 boats to anchor, but at this moment there was no one anchored, just a charter boat picking up a few campers they had left behind days earlier...Soon after anchoring the wind picked up to a very 'low' 25knots, the charter boat was gone & we had the place to ourselves for 1.5 days plus a few days with a small few of other interesting charactors:-)
Each morning the fog was so thick we couldn't see our own bow. At first this was enchanting until I realized that if we needed to get the heck outta there we'd be navigating between a rock & a real hard place; in fact nearly surrounded by hard places with basically one way out, towards but not at, the big majestic rock/isle in the front center of the entrance. When the fog cleared we made a reference note of where the rock & the hard places were including a few other boats using our large hand held compass readings. The next morning it was the same thick fog...oooooh :-O & of course on departure day it was another can't see the bow morning.
Of course the very new to us radar is on; we knew how to operate it, just didn't have any proven confidence with it's interpretations. The chart plotter at that time didn't know which way we were pointed until we've made enough way for it to figure out our direction. So our hand made chart & compass is how we made our way out, with the radar confirming we are not going towards the rock or hard places & the chart plotter eventually getting the clue of which way we're pointing after we were past the hard places... Weeee! There was a wind building as we made our way out & we set our sails for a long down wind passage.