Posted by: sunnyharvy | January 28, 2014

Santa Cruz Island Outing

Last Saturday my brother Jeff and his wife Paula joined us on a day trip to Santa Cruz Island, part of the Channel Islands National Park off the coast near Ventura, CA. The boat ride over took just about an hour with one brief whale sighting and several dolphins playing alongside. The weather, sunny and warm, could not have been better, especially since both the day before and after were dreary.




We didn’t do it on this trip, but you can kayak through dozens of sea caves here.


This urchin eating crow was the first sign of wildlife I saw ashore.

We began our tour at Scorpion Ranch where a few buildings are still intact. These include a private residence for the former owner (by agreement with the Department of the Interior), a small museum, blacksmith shop and some out buildings. There are also remains of several vehicles and equipment that had been used on the ranches.




We then proceeded on a hike to Cavern Point, stopping several times along the way so the Ranger could enlighten us about the fascinating natural and human history of the island. These islands are considered “The Galapagos of North America” by many because the isolation has allowed evolution to proceed independently here producing 145 plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world.


This cute little island fox is one example of a species that evolved on Santa Cruz.
Credit where credit is due – Paula caught this shot.



My sister-in-law Paula and brother Jeff trekking up the hill.






Final trail back down to Scorpion Ranch.

Literally hundreds of dolphins road our boat’s wake on the way back to the mainland. We also got to witness a massing of birds feeding on a school of small fish stirred up to the surface by some unseen creatures below. No photograph could ever capture the scene, but I present this one to provide a sampling.




  1. Never got to go to the Channel Islands……..looks interesting…especially with Jeff along…he was always fun on nature trips knowing all the plants and wildlife.

  2. cute fox. I love the rugged CA coastline, have been up and down the coast and its such a great drive.

  3. dolphins! what an entrancing place. Great photo of Al and you ~

    • Wish I could have gotten photos of the dolphins, but they were too fast and slippery.

  4. Hi, we’re new sprinter westfalia folks and are looking to meet other like-minded westie travelers. Just reaching out for connections. We live on Whidbey Island, WA. Would love to be in touch. Fran

    • Thanks for reaching out, Fran. I have replied directly via email.

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