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Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands

August 2, 2008

Tom – We started the day by climbing from the boat to the top of a pier at Bechers Bay on Santa Rosa Island.  We then hiked (about 3 miles) to and through a Torrey Pines forest (only two in the world) and then bush wacked down a canyon to a beach where we were picked up by the skiff.  We had lunch on the boat while traveling to Santa Cruz.

 

 

 

 

 

The boat laid anchor by Painted Cave (on Santa Cruz) which is the largest of over 1,400 sea caves in the Channel Islands, about 250 of which are at least somewhat negotiable by sea kayak.  The Pacific and North American tectonic plates meet in the deep Santa Barbara Channel. The Channel Islands are on the eastern edge of the Pacific plate, have never been connected to the continent and the sea caves have been produced by the pounding action of the Pacific Ocean.  We were fortunate to have calm seas for half of the trip and with lights were able to kayak into several sea caves.  Seals and sea lions inhabit some of the caves and were not too happy for us to be there!  Helen returned to the mother ship at the 6 mile mark and I continued for the 12 mile paddle.  Two-thirds of Santa Cruz is owned by the Nature Conservancy and the other one third is part of the national park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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