Santa Barbara Channel swims 2018-19

evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
edited January 2019 in Event Announcements

Many Catalina Channel swimmers fly into Los Angeles, swim, and fly out, and are never aware that there are seven other islands in the archipelago off the Southern California coast.

They are called the Channel Islands, and the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association sanctions any swim to, from, around, and between the islands (all except the Catalina Channel and Catalina circumnavigation routes, sanctioned by the CCSF). Five of the islands (Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara) make up Channel Islands National Park, which preserves and protects these beautiful wild lands and sea for posterity.

And you can swim there! For more information, check out the SBCSA's website at

Swim distances range from 3.6 miles (between San Miguel and Santa Rosa Islands) to 12.2 (the channel between Anacapa Island and the mainland) to 70 miles (San Nicolas Island to the mainland).

Sanction applications received before May 7th are eligible for discounted sanction fees. Please reach out to me personally with any questions about organizing a Channel Islands swim.

Evan (SBCSA president)



  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited May 2018

    To anyone thinking of swimming the Santa Barbara Channel this year as a solo or relay...

    The application deadline for discounted sanction fees is this Sunday, May 6th, at 11:59pm Pacific time.

  • VanMouVanMou San Luis Obispo, CASenior Member

    I am on the application vetting committee for the SBCSA, and tonight I noticed something remarkable (and by remarkable, I mean a seminal moment in the history of marathon swimming). I was reviewing an application for a swimmer who intends to swim from Anacapa Island to the Mainland late this summer.
    See this piece of his application, noting the part of it I highlighted in the red box:
    lsd swim history

    The swimmer referred to his swim profile in LongSwims Database, as a partial means of documenting his swimming background for his sanction application. I imagine that as the years go by this will become very common.
    Swimmers will use their LongSwims Database profile as an authoritative source in their swim applications, and it will become commonplace for local swim federations to use this database as a means of understanding the swimming background of swimmers they are providing a sanction for.

    We will take this for granted in another few years, much like we have gotten used to as a means to make marathon swimming, somewhat, a spectator sport. Personally, I never tire of looking at those tracks of swimmers as they are in cold pursuit of one swim goal or another.

    In case you haven't spent much time with this database, you can read more about it here:

  • I'm behind the scheduling curve (seems to be a trend in my life...), but after a small hiatus following my Catalina swim in 2015, I've decided to finish off my California Triple this year (swam Tahoe in 2014). Boat is reserved for October 1st (same date as my Catalina swim previously), and I need to finish up the Santa Barbara application... but I'm excited to be getting back into the swing of things. I needed that mental break, but it's time to get back out there!

  • Hello experts (waving at @VanMou @evmo ) Before I start my google search, does anyone have handy links for historical Anacapa channel winds, swells, currents? I see the current info on but I'm hoping to learn about what's typical in August, September. Or if people who've been on this channel in that season can share a quick summary -- e.g., on their swim in they had 5' swell, 15kt winds... I'd appreciate it. I'm also curious about what time people started Anacapa swims, particularly if your marathon pace is ~2mph. Thanks!!

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited January 2019

    Hey @cynswims, glad to hear of your interest in the Anacapa swim.

    does anyone have handy links for historical Anacapa channel winds, swells, currents?

    NOAA buoy 46217 is closest to the line between Anacapa and the mainland:

    This buoy measures water temp and swells, but unfortunately not wind or air temp.

    NOAA buoy 46053, ~25 miles further west in the channel, picks up wind measurements, but given the buoy's location will tend to be windier on average than what you'd get on the Anacapa swim.

    For surface currents, see this site: ... if you find any historical pattern in the data, please let us know, we haven't figured it out yet.

    Or if people who've been on this channel in that season can share a quick summary -- e.g., on their swim in they had 5' swell, 15kt winds.

    For August/September we've seen a range of calm to 20 knots, flat to 5 ft swells.... a typical morning might have 3-5 knot winds building to 12-15 knots in the afternoon.

    I'm also curious about what time people started Anacapa swims, particularly if your marathon pace is ~2mph.

    The main thing is to finish before 1-2 in the afternoon (when typically the winds pick up). So for a 2mph swimmer that might suggest starting around 5-6 am if you like to swim in daylight.

  • Thanks @evmo ! Also, thanks for your response to my teammate's queries via the website.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited October 2019

    A number of Forum members completed Santa Barbara Channel swims this year, and I want to congratulate them!

    • Caroline Block @thelittlemerwookie - mainland to Santa Cruz Island (in January!)
    • Caroline Block @thelittlemerwookie - mainland to Anacapa Island (in March!)
    • Abby Bergman @abbygirlrose - Anacapa Island to mainland (CA Triple Crown!)
    • Scott Kaloust @DocScott - Anacapa Island to mainland (CA Triple Crown!)
    • Meg Omainsky @Mermeg123 - Anacapa Island circumnavigation
    • Cindy Werhane @cwerhane - Anacapa Island circumnavigation
    • Georgia Wells @georgiaswims - Anacapa Island to mainland
    • Cynthia Hertzer @cynswims - Anacapa Island to mainland
    • Paige Kieding @PaigeKieding - Anacapa Island to mainland

    Great swims, everyone!

  • SwimUpStreamSwimUpStream Portland Oregon Member
    edited October 2019

    It was great to Circumnavigate Anacapa this summer and I’m grateful for the opportunity to have completed the swim. I would have highly suggest it to anyone looking for a beautiful and challenging Santa Barbara Channel Swim. Thanks to my crew and Captain Dawn Brooks for keeping me going. Sorry I won’t be at the banquet to celebrate the achievement.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin

    Thank you Cindy for mentioning the banquet.

    The annual SBCSA awards dinner will be held Saturday, November 2 at 22nd St Landing Restaurant in San Pedro. Per tradition, this is the same day, same city as the Catalina Channel brunch/banquet. So if you happen to be in town for the Catalina banquet and are looking for something to do that evening, please join us!

    Details and tickets at

  • SwimUpStreamSwimUpStream Portland Oregon Member

    Of course, Evan. And thanks for adding me above.

    I’ll be happy to pass on how hospitable and supportive you’ve been to me as President of SBCSA to anyone interested in any of those swims.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited October 2019

    The SBCSA recently passed the neat milestone of 100 ratified Anacapa channel swims. Here's the current tally, by island:

    Channel swims

    • Anacapa: 102 (including two doubles)
    • Santa Cruz: 16 (including one double)
    • Santa Rosa: 2
    • San Miguel: 1
    • Santa Barbara: 1
    • San Clemente: 1
    • San Nicolas: 0 (one relay)


    • Anacapa: 7
    • Santa Barbara: 2
    • other islands: 0

    The longer swims off the more remote islands make great relays... just sayin'!

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited October 2019

    Ken Mignosa is attempting to swim from San Miguel (the westernmost of the California Channel Islands), along the shores of Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, and Anacapa Islands, and then crossing the channel to Oxnard.

    If he goes around the back side of Anacapa (thus enforcing the route along the islands) it will be about a 68-mile (110 km) swim. The simple straight line from San Miguel to Oxnard is about 63 miles (101 km). Either way (it will depend on conditions), it would be the longest nonstop ocean swim ever in the US or Canada.

  • AzskiAzski ArizonaMember

    Any details/updates on Ken's long swim? I checked the tracker first thing this morning. Looks like he's stoped.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin

    Yes. Around 6:30pm last night, Ken reached Cavern Point on Santa Cruz Island, where they would have been able to see Anacapa for the first time.

    Also around this time, forecasts were coming in from the Coast Guard about a big blow first thing in the morning - 30+ knot winds out of the NE (so directly into Ken's face).

    Could Ken make it to Anacapa (still 10 miles away) and still give the slow sailboat enough time to reach safe harbor back on the mainland?

    Given these factors, Ken elected to touch Santa Cruz Island and finish the swim. ~43 miles in 36 hours.

Sign In or Register to comment.