It’s been a little more than five months since I’ve been hired at the Channel Islands Harbor and, as many of you know, there’s plenty of projects to be completed. I’ve evaluated and prioritized the Harbor’s short-term needs for public and private projects in 2022. Here are a few projects of interest. Casa Sirena/Harbor Peninsula…Read More
Mystic Cruzar arrived at the Channel Islands Harbor in early January 2022 with a lot of buzz.
Residents and visitors have been itching to take a tour of the tall ship – the only one of its kinds to call the Central Coast home. Right now, the ship is located at the public docks adjacent to the Channel Islands Maritime Museum.
The ship’s captain, Christine Healy, is on the Mystic Whaler regularly and fields questions from visitors. She’s aware of the public excitement and is busy preparing the ship for tours later this year.
While visitors are waiting for tours to be available, we asked Captain Healy to provide us an update about her experience coming into the Harbor and what it’s been like so far.
Captain Healy’s Log:
It was still dark as we cast off our dock lines in San Diego. The final leg of our long voyage from Mystic, Connecticut was ahead of us. The next stop would be Channel Islands Harbor, the ships new home port. It was a beautiful transit. The weather had finally laid down from the storms that had come through during new year. We pointed west northwest sailing towards the south end of Catalina. The sun was setting as Avalon came into view. Just before full dark as the suns final rays were hitting the water two large adult Blue whales surfaced next to us. It seemed as if they were welcoming the ship to south California as they headed south. Running through the night we hugged the lee of the island, and back across the shipping lanes. At sunrise we were just south of Channel Islands. It was a calm, clear morning; we slowed down to take in sail outside the harbor, during which hundreds of feeding common dolphin surrounded us.
Harbor Patrol escorted us into and through the breakwater, where we were greeted by other boaters and the people on shore. We motored through Harbor to the Channel Islands Maritime Museum which is where we still are currently docked. There were several people there to greet us. Everyone was so welcoming, the crew shared in the excitement of the ship finally being home. There is a lot to be done after a long voyage.
Since our arrival we have been working to establish our programming with both the Channel Islands Maritime Museum and the Santa Barbra Maritime Museum. The crew have also been very busy working on getting the ship ready doing maintenance. We also have enjoyed speaking with visitors that come down to the dock and see the ship.
Some of the local yacht clubs have also been very welcoming.
Having attended a lovely dinner at Channel Islands Yacht Club (CIYC)a few weeks ago and will soon be visiting the Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club (PCYC).
Channel Islands is a beautiful Harbor with plenty of wind. Central Coast Ocean Adventures (CCOA) looks forward to working with students and the public this summer.
About the Mystic Cruzar
The ship was built in Florida in 1967 and that year began offering one- to five-day sailing cruises out of Mystic, Connecticut along with brunch, lunch, dinner and sunset cruises and environmental education programs. In 2006, the schooner moved to City Pier, Connecticut, where it has operated since and participated in various maritime festivals in the city
The schooner historically carried 3,000 to 4,000 passengers each year from May to October. In 2018, both Connecticut and Yankee Magazine named it the best coastal cruise in Connecticut.
The ship is a reproduction of a late 19-century coastal cargo schooner with 3,000 square feet of sail and a diesel engine. It features Italian oak floors and fir wainscoting with mahogany accents along with six bathrooms with host showers. It was rebuilt in 1993.
The Mystic Cruzar is Coast Guard certified for 50 passengers plus 10 crew.
Editor’s Note: this story was published on February 28, 2022.
Winter is typically the off season for beach communities, but we have some beautiful 70-degree days forecast for February, so come out to visit the Channel Islands Harbor. It is a special place to be. Whale Watching One of the distinct adventures offered this time of the year is whale watching excursions with our businesses…Read More