Duane & Jo's Travels in 2009 travel blog

It was a beautiful day for a trip to Santa Cruz Island.

Looking back at the Ventura coastline.

Our trip included a school group planning to camp on the island...

They were excited and noisy until we were underway. They spent the...

Sea lions hang out on any "land" they can find.


There are several oil drilling platforms in the area.

A couple of times, large pods of dolphins swam with the boat.

Approaching Santa Cruz Island.

We leave the boat to be on shore for 3 hours.

We hiked to an overlook.

The views were spectacular.

Looking straight down.

Looking down at the harbor where we will reboard our boat.

The school group immediately took kayak lessons.

Looking down at the historical ranch house.

One of the ranch outbuildings.

Interesting art work.

Leaving the island for our return trip.

Approaching Venura harbor.

We decided to return to the Ojai campground we had last visited in February. This gave us a chance to visit with my mom, brother and sister, as they live relatively close by. We made a couple of trips to Thousand Oaks and went bike riding around the Ventura marina. We have been coming to this area for the last 30 years but have never been able to go out to Channel Islands National Park. Five islands make up the park; six miles of offshore waters surrounding the islands are protected as the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Native species found on the island and in surrounding waters include island foxes, reptiles, seals, sea lions, and sea birds. We took a 6 hour afternoon trip to Santa Cruz Island. The weather was magnificent, the ocean crossing smooth and enough of a cool breeze to keep hiking comfortable. Before becoming part of the national park, Santa Cruz Island was divided into a couple of ranches. Some of the buildings still stand and family members who donated the land still occasionally stay there. This is an undeveloped area with a primitive campground for those wishing to spend a few days. All food and water must be brought from the mainland. Half of our time was spent on the boat so we had about 3 hours to eat lunch and explore. It was a great experience and an area we will plan to return to in the future.

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