Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Channel Islands - the Crossing

Sorry for the slow out-put of this report. Real life keeps interrupting my reporting on it.

So, Friday started off uneventful. I got up, washed, brushed & put on the multitude of layers I knew I was going to need for the day. While it did mildly pain me to wear the matching jacket, I'm glad I was through wearing it before hearing Greg's comment (upon seeing a photo of me & mom), "You look like lesbians from Kansas!" I did a quick run to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf while mom showered and came back to get mom before heading over to the dock.

The dock was the headquarters with small gift store. We check-in peruse the generic except for the logo sweatshirts, t-shirts and hats. Having applied our ear patches the night before, I have no worries about any sea sickness. Instead I have worries about the small nature of the craft I'm about to board and travel across open ocean. Despite that, we board and settle into the main cabin. I desperately send a few, "Farewell, I love you" text messages to Greg and generally feel excited as we head out the harbor.

My mom keeps watch over the crossing for whales and dolphins. I sip the coffee flavored water mom bought me. An hour later and no marine mammal sightings later we're at the Scorpion Harbor landing on the East corner of Santa Cruz Island.
We linger at the dock end to get our obligatory ranger orientation which is the standard "Stay on Trails; Take only photos; Leave only foot prints" lecture coupled with an invitation for a nature & history hike. Mom and I are keen to head off on our own.
We race up the first trail - with my GPS watch clocking us at about 20 minute miles - and get a glorious view. The weather was quite foggy and, despite the matching, I was glad to have the rain coat. Photo is from the initial ascent.

We circle around the Cavern Point Trail and head to Potato Harbor.

On the way we see a fox on the opposite hill and then it comes towards us. It passes at about 10 feet from us. It checks us out and moses on. Clearly we aren't foxy enough for its tastes.

We make it to Potato Harbor. Only once we arrive do we realize that it is an overlook - no beach access. So we paused on the cliff top and enjoyed lunch while watching 3 kayaks paddle around below. The kayaks aren't terribly visible with the small photo size.

More soon.


ferry said...

Your post was very interesting and the pictures were great.It seems that you did a lot of channel crossings while making trip to the islands.You must have had great fun spending so much time sailing on the sea.How much time does it take to make the whole channel crossings and from which port did u start up your journey?

Jen DeLano said...

Thanks for commenting. I only crossed to the Channel Islands on the Southern California Coast. (http://www.nps.gov/chis/) The crossing takes about an hour to 90 minutes, depending on which island one wants to get to as well as where on the island one lands. The Islands are nature preserves, teeming with wildlife. Going where so few people go felt really special.

The time on the water was minimal, yet fun - as there were waves to bounce around in.


prom dover said...

It was quite interesting travel experience from you and it sounds good. I want to know, Is Santa Catalina Island on the way to Cruz Island?
Thanks, thanks for all your time and sharing experience here.

Jen DeLano said...

From my understanding, there is an submerged mountain range, of which Santa Cruz and Santa Catalina are both peeks.

Wikipedia has a great picture of the Islands in the ocean. Santa Cruz Island is probably 100 miles north of Santa Catalina.

I much enjoyed my trip. I would have enjoyed camping, as we would have had more time for longer, slower hikes. Just me & mom enjoyed the beds & hot showers upon return to the mainland at night.