After spending several days in paradise on Santa Catalina Island we head out to Los Angeles. More specifically Marina del Rey in The city of Venice just north of LAX international airport.
Marina del Rey is a beautiful marina with many amenities for boaters. The guest docks are spacious and the adjacent park is a great place to hang out. We were welcomed by the friendly park staff and they were diligent about monitoring the happenings on the dock.
Stores and restaurants are within walking distance, including grocery stores. Fuel and pumpout services are available.
We stayed here a few days and did a lot of walking. Within a three mile radius we explored the neighborhoods and local vendors. It was an interesting experience and a much needed opportunity to stretch our legs and get some exercise.
After three days here we were getting anxious to move on to Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard. We arranged to meet old friends and tie up at their dock for a few days. We were really looking forward to socializing a bit after nearly two weeks of being somewhat isolated on Mai Tai.
Cruising From Marina del Rey to Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard
As morning dawned weather and sea conditions looked good for the cruise from Marina del Rey to Channel Islands Harbor. We secured our water and electric connections, cast off the dock lines and headed out to sea again.
It was a great day for cruising. The northern most channel islands, including Santa Cruz Island, were in full view. Commercial traffic was not much of a factor as we moved past the main shipping ports in LA.
From Marina del Rey, just south of Long Beach, we traveled east past Long Beach. There were many merchant ships anchored off Long Beach harbor in a designated parking zone. Once far enough offshore we turned northwest passing Santa Monica, Malibu and the naval air station at Point Mugu.
This was an uneventful trip. Seas were not a factor. Wind was calm and skies were partly overcast.
Arriving At Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard
Channel Islands Harbor is a large basin of mixed commercial, retail and residential uses. It is a planned community with boating as the focal point. A quick shout out to the very helpful guys at Base Auto Parts and Marine just east of Channel Islands Harbor (see map above). These guys were very accommodating. We found fuel in the crankcases of both engines when we arrived here and they went out of their way to find just the right pumps to replace our leaking pumps.
The Channel Islands Harbor was by far the busiest harbor we visited so far. Everything is set up for getting around by boat.
There is a major shopping center accessible by boat. Parks are set up for visitors by boat. Many restaurants and services are boat accessible. The public dock here is well equipped and maintained. Harbor patrols are frequent and personnel we met were helpful and accommodating. This is definitely our favorite harbor so far.
There are tons of electric pontoon boats here. They are all set at 5 miles per hour, the speed limit. This is definitely the best way to get around. Finding our way around this huge development we resorted to using our cell phone for guidance. Just plug in the address and the phone guided us right to our friend’s house.
We arrived at our destination with our friends waiting for us at their dock. Thank goodness for that! I wasn’t looking forward to parallel without someone on the dock to grab a line.
There is a lot to do in the areas around the harbor. The little town of Ventura is a major attraction with their unique atmosphere and quaint shops in the old downtown. There are many easily accessible pristine beaches between Oxnard and Ventura. This is an area we would like to explore further.
After spending several days here we were getting excited about the next leg of our journey . . . Santa Cruz Island! The northernmost island in the chain.
To follow along from the beginning of our adventure click here.
To follow all of the posts we’ve made and will make click on the Cruising California Coast tab above.