Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Turkey Week Vacay Part 4: Channel Islands NP


For our last leg our our turkey week vacay, we decided to head out to the Channel Islands.  Kimbo and I went out to Anacapa Island during our honeymoon and had an amazing time kayaking around, so we were looking forward to going back and exploring a different island.  Santa Cruz.... the largest of the 8 channel islands.  22 miles long and 2 to 6 miles wide.  The island has a rich history with archaeological evidence suggesting it has been occupied for at least 10,000 years... and interestingly enough the Channel Islands provide the earliest evidence for human seafaring in the Americas... as it is the side of hte discovery of the earliest paleontological evidence of humans in North America.

After Europeans came and settled in the area, the islands have been used for ranching, growing grapes, base for otter hunters, fisherman, and smugglers... hence "Smuggler's Cove".

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On our way out we ran into Win and Natalie!  Former co-workers of mine, who are married, about to start a family,  and live in LA.  We visited Win's folks in New Zealand when we were there, and we had last seen them in NYC when we visited Ko. A pleasant surprise.  
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our ferry... if there are waves... sit in the back.  It's a long way out and it was a bumpy ride... 
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Santa Cruz Island
Hiking back down... Anacapa Island behind.  
The "beach" at Potato Harbor.  The kayaking operation is in the background.  They have all you need to get out in the water.  
Oh... what did the boys find?
The Channel Island fox... the smallest fox in North America.... a smaller subspecies of the grey fox that is endemic to the Channel Islands.  
These guys are very friendly... and somehow even though they can go through your food and garbage they don't really feel like they are a nuisance.  
These foxes are endangered, and at one point in the 90s their numbers were down to the hundreds.  Scientists theorize that due to the decline of bald eagles (from the DDT exposure in the 50s), the golden eagle population started to thrive (they hunt the island foxes) and take over the island.  Bald eagles deter golden eagles and subsist mainly on fish.  
Conservation efforts were quite successful with the removal of the Golden Eagle.  
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Nikko thinks every furry animal is as nice as Mingus... a potential problem we'll need to address soon.  
The two trail runs I went on were highly enjoyable...

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it's a big island...
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Scorpion Cove from the southern bluff
Pat had found the "most comfortable" grass he'd ever laid down on...
really steep cliff sides.
The ladies and their boys with employee housing in the background.  
Looking back at our camp.  
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A look at one of Santa Cruz Island's many caves...
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Potato harbor - That looks like a great place to moor.
Trippy clouds.
The boys like sticks...
Kai was the caboose!
Nikko likes sticks too... and copying Kai.  

Check out all this washed up Crawfish!  Wow... that would have been a haul... 
Taking my inflatable SUP to the Channel Islands?  Probably the best decision of the trip.  Exploring the sea caves, snorkeling with the fish whenever, and enjoying the view from the water.  Amazing.  A must take item for your trip...
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Pat looking good!  He joined me on my 3rd jog on the island. 
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Artifacts at Smuggler's Cove
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House at Smuggler's
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On the way back, Kai got to steer the boat for a bit!
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So did Nikko!
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Make sure to time your departure with the sunset..
 If you have 25 min, check out this vid... narrated by Kevin Costner.  It's actually pretty awesome.

And if you only have 1 min, here's one showcasing the sea caves on kayaks.

Check out this Trip Report of kayaking the 4 main Channel Islands.  


1 comment:

  1. Amazing.
    Kai & Nikko are having good learning experience.