Thanks everyone for the replies, sorry for the delay in mine. Life just sort of exploded when I got back. It seems to do that, but I'm grateful for the time out I got.
I did poke a nose over by Twin Harbor, but the conditions were marginal (and that's being generous) with an offshore from the mainland creating sizable wind waves from the north. Mixed with the west north west swell it made for an interesting night.
Waves never show up well in photos, but that white plunging line is about where you would anchor if conditions were better.
I headed east and poked a nose in Pelican, as it was empty. Again, it didn't look very appealing, and I didn't really want to double hook it. Yes, first boat in gets to choose, but it's kind of generally accepted that Pelican is bow and stern.
So I kept going on down to Prisoner's Harbor.
This is the moon rise and sun rise over Santa Cruz Island from the anchorage. The latter taken because I didn't sleep very well. I have spent so many nights aboard my sailboat that I forgot what it was like on a new boat. Every sound is new, and I forgot how long it takes to start tracking down and fixing all the little bits that go "thunk" in the night. I guess this just means I'll have to go out more often so I can get used to her more quickly.
I decided since I was up early that I'd run up to Santa Rosa Island and have breakfast before heading home. I can't tell you how amazing it is to even say I contemplated that, since it was never feasible in the sailboat. I turned on the VHF to get the weather, and heard the Coast Guard calling for a sailboat that needed assistance in Potato Harbor. Given how rolly it was where I was, I figured Potato must be a nightmare. I had only seen one other cruising boat, a big steel sailboat headed west in the afternoon, so I figured I was probably the only available to help. I answered Sector LA, and they relayed that a sailboat without engine power was stuck in Potato Harbor and needed a tow. The PO used the trawler to tow a 17' Anderson, so I'm well set up for towing.
I told them to relay that I'd be there in 90 minutes, and went to raise anchor. And that's about when I figured out my windlass is junk. It works for about 30 seconds before overheating, which didn't show up on the survey. It was so bad that even when I was hand pulling the chain and just using the windlass to stuff it down the hawse, it overheated. I eventually just put the thing in neutral and hand raised the anchor. That was no fun in the swell, but at least it wasn't super windy.
I got everything stowed and headed east, where I found a 20' sailboat with a guy and his dog aboard getting ***RUINED*** by the north west swell and wind waves barreling straight into Potato. That place is terrible in anything but a south storm, I can't imagine why he went in there. He was straight on a lee shore. I circled around and asked if he had a line to throw me, which he didn't. Nor did he understand the implications thereof. So I told him I'd circle around and throw him a line, and drag him slowly so he could raise the anchor, and then tow him out. I ended up reversing my stern anchor rode, which is 200', and tossing him the bitter end as a tow line.
Personally, I'd have sailed off the anchor if I were him, but it's hard to be too judgemental since I didn't have the full story, and he looked pretty much at the end of his rope (there's a joke there somewhere.) I didn't think to take a picture of the towing, but I did of him raising sail out in the open.
Again, the picture doesn't really do the conditions justice. Luckily the wind hadn't gotten going yet, so no real whitecaps.
The wind was building this whole time, so I figured I'd nix the run up to SRI, and just head back. Had a pretty good trip, although I had to "tack" twice to keep the swell on the quarter and not on the beam. I headed northwest first and then northeast. If I had been smarter, I would have done the opposite, which would have put the bigger swell on the stern and saved quartering into it until I was behind the lee of Point Conception.
I got back into the harbor, and was nervous about putting her back in the slip solo. But I nailed it, and didn't even nudge the piling, or the dock. I was feeling pretty good about that as I washed her down. Although it always seems that no one is around to witness my successes, and my neighbors are all watching when I blow it...
I rewarded myself for the docking prowess with some sushi from the little place in the harbor, and ate it while lounging on my clean and awesomely docked boat. Unfortunately, everything went straight into the sewer when I checked my email after lunch, but the trip was great.