Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park is comprised of 5 beautiful islands off the coast of Southern California.  The park was established in 1980, and consists of 249,354 acres, half of which are under water. The names of the different islands are: Santa Cruz, Anacapa, Santa Rosa, Santa Barbara, and San Miguel.

This was the 6th National Park we traveled to on our road trip, however, our time was almost non-existent. Our original plan was to go to Scorpion, which is a part of Santa Cruz Island.  About 2-3 weeks before our big trip, we got a call from the National Parks Service saying they would be canceling trips Scorpion for 2-3 days to do construction on a ladder. Unfortunately, this just so happened to be the same (and only) days we were going to be in the area. Thankfully, they were able to switch our tickets to go to Prisoners Harbor instead, so we were still able to make it to the park.

We went on a day trip and traveled with Island Packers Cruises, which is the only tour agency that travels from Ventura Harbor to Channel Islands National Park.  It was super foggy in the harbor as we were leaving, but the crew assured us that the weather would likely be different at the park.

On the ferry ride over we saw HUNDREDS of dolphins, which was probably my favorite part.  A fun fact we learned was that for as many dolphins you see above the water, there are 3-4 times as many under the water.  We also saw a Mola Mola, which is a large ocean sun fish.  The ocean is my happy place, so it was fun to see the marine life up close. 

The boat crew was right, and blue skies greeted us as we arrived to Prisoners Harbor. We explored the island, which had a very rocky shoreline, but was loaded with beautiful sea shells.  The whole day was spent very differently than it usually is for us at National Parks. On this day we embraced the island life. We relaxed while we ate lunch, and listened to audiobooks at a picnic table, overlooking the ocean. Following lunch, we hung out on the pier with all the seagulls before it was time to load back up in the boat for our trip back.  While there wasn’t quite as much to explore at Prisoners Harbor as there is at Scorpion, we were still thankful we still made it to Channel Islands in general. 

After we arrived back to Ventura Harbor, we ate dinner at a restaurant what was known for their unique grilled cheeses, and then grabbed some ice cream before heading back to the Airbnb. It was an early night for us, as all our traveling and adventures seemed to quickly hit all at once. I was asleep by 6 pm and slept for 14 hours straight!!

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