Twenty-six miles across the sea, Santa Catalina is a-waiting for me! With strong swell this morning, we decided to anchor in the isthmus cove of Two Harbors. Protected from the wind and waves we set out early to kayak and hike our way around the island. Those who took to land explored not only Two Harbors but also Cat Harbor, a quick half-mile walk away from our landing. The dirt path was covered in tracks from the endemic native fox as well as the non-native bison of the island. It was amazing to watch the once endangered brown pelican fishing in the deep waters and see the vibrant garibaldi bopping around the nearshore kelp forests!
National Geographic Venture
What a magical day at the Channel Islands National Park! We woke up to a gorgeous sunrise over Anacapa Island, hearing the barking of California sea lions echoing off the steep walls. After a light breakfast we set out for Zodiac cruises around the island. Flocks of brown pelicans, brants cormorants, black oystercatchers, and western gulls swooped and fed upon schooling fish in the post dawn light. The Zodiacs explored the eastern arch and heard tales of shipwrecks beneath the Anacapa lighthouse. We returned to the Venture for an epic brunch (coffee crème brûlée … is all I have to say about that). On our cruise to Santa Rosa Island, we encountered a staggering array of wildlife involved in a feeding frenzy. A megapod of over a thousand common dolphins entertained us with bow riding and acrobatics for hours. A couple humpbacks whales joined the party. And pelicans, shearwaters, and cormorants dived and feasted. It was an incredible day on the water. In the afternoon we shuttled ashore to Santa Rosa Island where we all hiked various routes exploring Cherry Canyon, the bluff trail, and the old ranch buildings. The rolling hills and canyons provided a beautiful backdrop as we stretched our legs and hiked through sagebrush and Santa Rosa Manzanita while searching for island foxes. We ended our day with another amazing dinner, fascinating staff recaps, and enjoyed watching our guest slideshow.