Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Channel Islands

A trip in photos... (click on any to see larger view)

On our way to Santa Cruz, we ran into these handsome guys & gals.

Matt explored the boat and made a friend.

And we followed a line of graceful pelicans.

Then, we saw the island,

shrouded in morning mist.

Caves! Where the cliffs meet the sea. 

We have arrived, on an island that is home to 12 species found nowhere else on earth.

and the island welcomes us by turning the mist into bright blue sky.

We wait for our guide,

who gives us wild lemonade berries. 

The small tart fruits really do taste like lemonade!

We see an island fox! Whose species only lives here on this island.

Although the photo above is taken from the Parks website... the one below is the photo I took...

We walked in the footsteps of the Chumash tribe.

We climbed high, to Cavern Point. 

and watch the kelp forests in the sea below,

and marveled at the views.

We went off on our own on Smuggler's Road, stopping to play in the mustard flowers

and check out the strange plants.

Matt was our guide in this foreign land.

we head toward the harbor.

Across the cliffs of diatomaceous earth.

We look back, to where we've been,

out, from where we are,

and on, to where we are heading.

passing strange succulents

and grassy meadows

Until we can go no farther. We reached the end.

Potato Harbor.

we hike back, and back, and back. To the visitor's center. 
You can sign the book. A girl from Russia wrote "I pooped" as her comment. huh. 

We rested beneath a big tree

and then rested on the beach

Where we watched the pelicans.

This photo shows a man swimming, alongside a pelican and a dolphin.
(I just about missed the dolphin- they're quick!- but if you look really hard at the bottom center of the photo you can see the tip of his dorsal fin!)

ropes of thick, rich kelp covered the beach

we admired the kelp forests again, this time closer.

and then got back on the boat and headed for the mainland. 

We're already planning our next visit.


  1. What wonderful photos! Thank you for sharing your trip- the waters look beautiful and the plants too. And thank you for sharing the "I pooped" comment. Lol. Some people!

  2. Really nice post! I have never even heard of these islands before but now I want to visit too.


  3. Next time we must camp. I feel like there is so much more to explore, even on that one island of Santa Cruz. Oh, and we must kayak through the caves! Ooo, and then, we have to snorkel through the kelp beds and swim with the Garibaldi. They are California's state fish, you know.

  4. I would love to kayak for sure! But only maybe camp... I'm not sure how I feel about camping out there. ;)