Two years ago we took a day trip to Santa Cruz island in Channel Islands National Park with Nathan’s parents and loved it. The steep cliffs jutting into the blue ocean with sea caves and arches were stunning. We decided we’d have to make a couple more trips to the park to camp, see visit the other islands, and kayak. So in June Katharine organized a big group trip with about 20 of our coworkers, friends and Nathan’s parents for a kayaking trip around the Santa Cruz Island. The trip started at the Ventura Harbor to take the boat to the island. We were escorted on the way by common dolphins playing in our boat’s wake.
After a few minutes on the island we were suited up in sun bleached life jackets, bright yellow helmets and slathered with sun screen.
We got a quick lesson in paddling, steering, and how to navigate caves without being crushed against the rocks.
Before we knew it we were paddling out past the breakers testing our new paddling skills.
Benefits of Tandem Kayaks… letting your partner do the work
Unfortunately the swell was too high, keeping us out of the adventurous caves. Instead we paddled close to a blow hole where during low tide you can actually paddle through.
This was my first time using the GoPro on the water. I learned a couple things. First, make sure the camera is straight on your helmet. Second move your head slowly. Lastly the water tight housing also blocks sound thus the need for dramatic music. I hope you don’t get sea sick watching the video, enjoy!
We did get to go into a large archway that was made from the unstable rock falling into the ocean. Some of us were a little uneasy knowing that at anytime boulders could come crashing down.
We then paddled across the open ocean rising and falling with the large waves. It was thrilling to watch our friends in front of us disappear behind the massive waves then reappear as we sank into a valley of water.
After 3 hours of kayaking we rode the surf in and turned in our life jackets for hiking shoes.
Scorpion Anchorage, Santa Cruz Island
The 2 mile round-trip hike has some amazing views of the island’s coast.
After a long day of kayaking and hiking we headed back home with more dolphins jumping in our wake.
It was a fun adventure with friends and we are already talking about going back to kayak the caves! Plus do a camping trip… and visit Anacapa Island. It’s surprising that so few people in Southern California know about this National Park because it’s so close and has so much to offer!
Did you use a tour group for the kayaking and getting across to the islands? Looks like a blast. I have been planning to camp there but didn’t realize there was so much kayaking too!
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