wonderfully made: travel diaries : California day two

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

travel diaries : California day two

Edit: be sure to check back next week for the budget details and tips from our trip in California. We love to vacation but hate to spend all of our money on it, so we try to be creative! I'm sharing those tips with you next week, so be sure to come back! 

Brace yourselves...this day was one of the most picturesque, hence, lots of pictures.

Thursday morning we got up, ate breakfast, took some pictures off our balcony, and left at 8am to catch a boat out of Ventura. I somehow came across the Channel Islands, which no one here that I talked to knew about, but they are a pretty big national park and part of the culture in this part of California. We opted to take a ferry ride at 9am to Santa Cruz Island to hike, kayak, swim, etc and be picked up at 4pm. We packed a backpack full of water and snacks (this is a national park and the only residents are the park rangers - this means no water and you take out what you bring in) and hit the road!

Squid fishing is a big part of the economy here!

We saw lots of wildlife, including these seals sunning on the buoy.

I was surprised at the number of oil rigs there were out on the water here!

Once we landed, we set off on the trail to Potato Harbor. This was one place that I had seen in the few pictures online from the islands, and I knew I wanted to see it in person. It was about 6 miles round trip from the dock. 

The interior of the island was hilly and pretty dry and looked a lot like other parts of California. This particular island was 22 miles wide. 

We came to quite a few overlooks and decided to take advantage of a private one and sat down and ate our lunch. It was awesome!

Ventura/Santa Barbara from the island

We finally reached Potato Harbor! It was seriously gorgeous. The water was cold the whole trip but seeing this blue/green crystal clear water made me want to get in! There was no beach access here, though, so we admired from afar....

...that is, until Mark decided he wanted to be adventurous. He followed a very California-looking couple down a non-path and ended up on this rock face. As he leaned over to ask them if the trail continued (they were about 20 ft past him) he slipped and almost lost his footing. He said had he slipped 6 more inches, he would have been gone!

Once we were back on solid ground, he was happy to find some cell service.

We continued our walk and ended up near the park ranger station, in time to watch a helicopter take off.

Awwww. Mark + Discgolf, I assume?

We got back to the dock about 45 minutes early and sat on the rocks to watch the brave people kayak and swim. After that, it was back on the boat!

So we had seen some dolphin, sea lions, and birds on our way in, but I was desperate to see a whale. I saw a tiny glimpse of one on the way to the island but no one else had seen it so I was wondering if I was seeing things. On the way back to shore, I was doing silly things like singing 'where my whales at?!' and making Mark regret going on a boat with me. All of a sudden, the captain came on the speaker and said "I think we have a special treat for you today". He had seen these big splashes in the distance and he said that those don't happen by chance...sure enough, it was a humpback whale!!! He was pretty far off when we first spotted him, but he was breaching and hitting the water with his tail over and over. I got a picture of him breaching but its fuzzy since he was so far away. We inched closer and ended up following him for about 15 minutes. From then he was spouting and only showing us his back and his tail, since he was going down below to eat. It was SO cool though and I was super happy to see him!

We went back to the hotel and put on our pajamas, enjoyed our leftover Brazilian food, and watched TV for the rest of the night. It was a great day!!!

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