Refugio State Park

Our sail from Sacate to Refugio was a short one; only 11 nautical miles. This time for a change, we sailed the entire way, even though the wind was so light we barely made 3 knots the entire way. It was easier to have the patience to sail so slowly when it wouldn’t be an overnighter in any case.


Slowly but surely we are making our way south.

The first day at anchor, we renewed our commitment to trying to slow down, and spent the day doing laundry, reading, writing and painting, and playing with our son. The cockpit cover went up and we lounged outside all day. The weather was getting warmer, good enough to be shorts weather even if the water was still too cold. Slowly but surely we are making our way south. One drawback of this area is that this stretch of California coastline doesn’t offer many well protected anchorages, and we rolled and pitched a lot even though we used both a bow and a stern anchor to help stabilize the boat. A lot of Dramamine was consumed.

American cliff swallows

Refugio is a state park, and has a nice beach and campground, very popular on the weekends. We rowed our dinghy around a kelp forest, and were amazed to be able to see all the way to the sandy bottom, where sea grass grew like an underwater meadow. Although the park lacks any hiking trails, we saw hundreds of swallows who make their nests underneath the highway overpasses that crisscross Refugio Canyon.


We spent a day daytime camping on the beach, our dinghy pulled up beside us and tied to some rocks. Rowan had fun crawling around in sand all day and being exposed to probably way too much sunlight. We had front row seats to a small surfing zone by the rocks, and watched parents teaching their children how to surf and boogie board. Several people from the campground came over to say hi, recognizing us as the people from the lone boat in the anchorage. One told us to meet him further south so he could give us some fishing gear, and another invited us for dinner at his campsite. Such is the kindness of strangers that we only hope to repay one day, like Mark who has helped us in countless boat projects, Wendell who let us borrow his car in our weird transition phase into the cruising life, and Lance, who stopped by to give us bags of instant food, flashlights and wishes for safety in our travels.

Palm trees and turquoise water

Lesson learned:


  • for landing a dinghy on a beach, watch for the spot with the least breaking waves. Watch where the kayakers depart from if present. Bring sandals, a dry bag, and a willingness to get wet.

2 thoughts on “Refugio

  1. I just stumbled across your blog, and wanted to say hello. I enjoyed your writing and pictures, and look forward to following your adventure. Plus you have great taste in boats! I like all the Fujis, but the 32 and 35 are some of the prettiest boats on the planet, in my opinion. (We live on our 1978 Fuji 40, Mosaic) Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s