Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Channel Islands National Park

Connor and I had been keeping a close eye on the weather around the Channel Islands for the last 8 months. There is a narrow window where the weather isn't too hot and the water isn't too rough. The weekend before last we saw that our time had come. Friday we jumped in the car and drove 6 hours (there was so much traffic...) to Ventura so that we could catch the morning ferry to Santa Cruz Island. It was worth the wait, the weather was glorious.

We took a morning kayak tour to see the different sea caves. Our guide, Mel, was lots of fun. We also made friends with the other people on the tour who were all pals from Quebec. Connor learned a new-to-him French phrase when one of the ladies jumped in the water: "C'est froid! C'est froid!" We already knew how cold the Pacific Ocean is around California, so we didn't jump in.

After kayaking, we opted to go for a hike to Potato Harbor. Along the way we saw one of the famous island foxes that is endemic to Santa Cruz island.
This fox was grooming itself rather vigorously. I got a picture when it came up for air.

It was good it wasn't too hot out because most of the five mile hike is exposed. But, being out there made us feel so free. On occasion we would pass someone, but for the most part we were alone on an island in the middle of nowhere.

Part of the hike is along the sea cliffs. Before we had gotten on the ferry, we picked up a patch. I thought it would be nice to get a picture of the patch that included the sea caves we had been in earlier.
There are whale tails on the patch, but we didn't have the pleasure of seeing one on the ferry ride to or from the island. They said that sometimes you can see a Blue Whale. I hope one day I'll get to even if it didn't work out to on this trip.

Once we made it to Potato Harbor, we sat and enjoyed the view. I thought about painting, but I opted to just take it all in instead. We live such busy lives, sometimes it is hard to remember to sit still and just be.

We ended up bumping into our Quebecois friends again on the trail and walked with them for a bit before splitting in different directions.

We timed our hike carefully. It's important that you make it to the dock in time for the ferry. They don't wait for anyone and if you are late, you get to camp. There isn't any food or water to be had on the island, so an unplanned camping trip is rather unpleasant. We got to the dock on time and found seats on the back of the boat. After such a big day, Connor couldn't help but nod off while I meditated on the day.

Funnily enough, we went out to dinner and bumped into our Quebecois friends again. Even though it was a quick trip, I'm glad we got to have it. The only regret I have is that we only had one day to explore. I hope that this isn't our last trip to Channel Islands National Park.


José said...

Lovely photo's, it looks like a wonderful trip !

Alicia said...

This is lovely! I do a lot of desktop research about the habitats and species at sites in CA so it's really fun to see pics like this!

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