Channel Islands National Park

On a lark, I decided to take a Wildlife Cruise at Channel Islands National Park:  3 hours  cost me $34 and it was a beautiful day.   The cruise left at 9:30 a.m.  The lark hit me about 8:30 a.m. while having coffee with my brother-in-law Steve.    I love it when a last minute plan comes together!

Arch at East End of Ana Capa Island
Arch at East End of Ana Capa Island

The cruise left out of Ventura Harbor on a crystal clear morning.

View of Ventura Harbor from our cruise boat
View of Ventura Harbor from our cruise boat

The ride out to the islands was a bit bumpy – I was quickly reminded that I get seasick easily.  So after a bit, I found the front of the boat on the lower deck which had a great breeze and a more stable ride.

Soon we came across a large pod of dolphins.  The dolphins were quite happy to swim alongside the boat – but I still couldn’t get a great picture.  They were all over the place.

Dolphins swimming ahead of our boat.
Dolphins swimming ahead of our boat.

Next we saw one seal … briefly.   No pictures.  Then we followed whales around for about two hours.  The whales were migrating from the cold waters of Alaska to the warm waters of Mexico.  The female whales get pregnant in Alaska and have their babies in Mexico.  Fun facts from the cruise are that whale milk is 50% fat and baby whales gain 10 pounds a day … and dolphins are one of the few species that have sex for enjoyment.

Two whale spouts just left of the sun stream
Two whale spouts just left of the sun stream
Whale spout in front of Santa Cruz
Whale spout in front of Santa Cruz

The end of the cruise was a visit to the East End of Anacapa Island which has a lighthouse, a dock, and picturesque arch.  Anacapa Island is the largest nesting place in the US for brown pelicans.

Lighthouse with Seagull - east end of Anacapa Island
Lighthouse with Seagull – east end of Anacapa Island
The arch - from the East
The arch – from the East
Arch - from the west side
Arch – from the west

 

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