Thursday, February 28, 2013

Oxnard - Another Pleasant Surprise

We had planned to spend the night anchored behind the largest of the Channel Islands, but once again we found ourselves sailing in stronger winds and heavier seas than the NOAA weather forecast had predicted. Their small craft advisory quickly turned into a full blown gale. The seas were steep and I was seasick once again. So we turned back to Santa Barbara. With more of the same forecast for the following day, we decided to skip the Channel Islands altogether and headed south hugging the coast where the wind and seas were comfortable. Our destination was an easy four-hour sail to Ventura.

Ventura did not offer the friendly welcome we have come to expect from the marinas of California. The first marina we called had no slips available. The second was $1.50 per foot, 50% more than the most expensive we’d stayed at so far yet offered neither wi fi nor laundry facilities. With Oxnard only an hour away, we decided to keep going.

I have never had a desire to visit Oxnard. Even the name sounds ugly. But Channel Islands Marina gave us a warm and friendly welcome and our choice of slips. At $1.15 per foot it was our most expensive marina of the trip thus far, but we stayed for 3 nights and really enjoyed our time there. Behind the main harbor is a series of waterways that we explored by dinghy for hours on end. There are beautiful homes built along the canals in addition to restaurants, grocery stores and other amenities of civilization. We never ventured into the city but instead spent our days relaxing on the water and doing some routine boat maintenance.

The name Oxnard may sound ugly but the harbor is lovely and a truly pleasant place to spend a day or two. The guest docks are deep inside the harbor and well protected. A large West Marine store is only a few blocks away. Mike was able to climb the mast to replace a burned out anchor light and we got a lot of clean up done. I highly recommend Channel Islands Marina in Oxnard to anyone transiting the coast.


  1. You look brown as a berry, Janet! I'd appreciate it if you would not take big risks - it's just a little too stressful hearing about the steep seas and gale force winds. Reminiscent of my crab fishing days off Kodiak Island. But we were in a 98' commercial boat. I'm enjoying hearing about these towns, and it would be great if you could post some pictures of more of the scenery - I would love to see what the "canals" look like in Ventura. Are they sort of like what you'd find at Ocean Shores residential area (up by the jetty)?

  2. Don't worry,no big risks involved. Mike would never do anything to put his beloved boat in danger!
    Mmmm, kind of a cross between Ocean Shores and Venice only with rows of yachts in front. Unfortunately the photos taken from a moving dinghy didn't turn out well enough to publish. Janet