Just south of the city of Lompoc (pronounced Lahm-poke), the California coastline bends abruptly eastward. Ships sailing south along the coast here must locate the Santa Barbara Channel, which lies between Points Arguello and Conception on the mainland and San Miguel Island, and then make a hard turn to port to enter the channel. Performing this maneuver has been described by mariners as trying to sail a ship through the eye of a needle. Given this difficulty, it is no wonder that this section of the coast is known as the “Graveyard of the Pacific”, and is home to over fifty known shipwrecks.
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