We met at Ventura Harbor at 7 am to catch a ferry out to the island. It was a 25 mile ride across the choppy channel waters, and took a little over 1 hour. Along the way we saw lots of birds and dolphins. At one point, a school of around 100 dolphins were surround the boat, jumping out of the water as we went. It was quite a miraculous sight to see all these creatures.
|Channel Islands Nation Park (white perimeter line)|
|leaving Ventura harbor, with a quick detour to see some Dolphins|
The Santa Barbara Channel is a unusual feature in California geography. The 30 mile wide channel separates the Northern Channel Islands from mainland California. As we left Ventura harbor, the first half of the channel was approximately 90 feet deep. About ten miles into the channel, however, the ocean floor drops off and water depth increases to around 1000 feet in about 1/4 mile! Lots of oil drilling takes place along this drop off, and it attracts ample sea life as well. In fact, right around this area was where we encountered our dolphin school!
|Santa Cruz Island|
|Our Landing at Scorpion Cove|