Ventura Inspiration Guide 2018 - 35


Our day began at Ventura Harbor under an early-morning
sky. We checked in with our ferry transport, Island Packers,
the only transportation available to the islands. We then found
Neal Rosenthal, chef at Channel Islands Provisioners, who
provides day packs of locally sourced food. He was waiting for
us at the boat with well-stocked coolers of the essentials for a
day off the mainland - yogurt with local honey for breakfast,
spice-rubbed turkey and Swiss chard sandwiches for lunch,
and a hearty trail mix with homemade ginger candy (a nice
touch for a morning on the water).
We boarded the boat and settled into seats on the top deck,
breathing in ocean air. All of a sudden, we came across a pod
of dolphins, what seemed like hundreds of them, breaching
the water and putting on a show. Nearby, sea lions were rolling
around to our delight. And then, we saw something even more
spectacular: humpback whales spouting up, their huge sides
breaking the surface of the water. We were close enough we
could hear the wooosh of their blow holes. They seemed to be
everywhere, gently appearing to the surface before disappearing.


A little farther out, our captain spotted a blue whale. There
was a collective gasp from the passengers as we leaned over
the side of the 65-foot boat to see the world's largest animal
- they range from 80 to 100 feet and weigh around 200 tons-
swimming by. As if on command, this spectacular creature rose
to the surface. The best part? As the whale sunk back under
the water, we saw a full view of the tale splashing down. Cheers
erupted from the boat.
It was an epic sight to see - and we weren't even on Santa
Cruz Island yet.
Soon after, the islands came into view, and the sheer size
nearly took our breath away. Colorful wildflowers grew on the
sides of the rock face before trailing down into the ocean. Cell
phones were switched to airplane mode as we disembarked at
Scorpion Anchorage.
Our two-hour group kayak trip with Channel Islands Adventure
Co. was up first, so we found our group and friendly guide, Caco.
He pointed out the basic features of the island (bathrooms,
changing rooms) and told us what the island didn't have


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Ventura Inspiration Guide 2018