Anchor Bay Beach is a 3/4-mile-wide seasonal beach. "Seasonal" in that the sand comes in and goes out according to seasonal weather patterns. Its true placename is Fish Rock Beach, named for the bygone town of Fish Rock that disappeared in the 1920's, but strangely, still appears on many maps. The popular local name of Anchor Bay comes from the tiny resort village perched on the terrace just above it.
Anchor Bay is protected from the nearly-relentless winds that blow out of the northwest. It's not unusual to look out and see solid whitecaps and giant swells moving on down the coast, passing us by. This area is known as Haven's Anchorage, named in the 1853 coastal survey possibly after the captain of the vessel. Anchor Bay, then known as Fish Rock Landing, was one of the coast's dogholes where schooners were loaded with tan bark and railroad ties from a chute on the west point. The protected waters have continued to be a haven for today's commercial fishermen far away from their home ports. They still find nightly refuge from rough seas while working salmon, rockfish, and urchins off our coast.
The combination of the coastal shape and the direction of the wind causes a climatic blessing called the Banana Belt, a nearly fogless micro-climate involving about seven miles of coastline with Anchor Bay set in the middle like a diamond in a golden ring. While the wind blows onshore for the rest of the coast, it is practically offshore here, keeping the fog from drifting in.
Anchor Bay's most attractive feature is its white sand beach. While most of the north coast is dominated by high cliffs with boulder and cobblestone beaches at their feet, sand collects in pockets like river and creek mouths and in coves whose shapes persuade currents to deposit rather than to sweep clean. Anchor Bay is a perfect sand trap.