Please read the entire write-up.
Our hike write-ups often mention that "on a clear day, you can see the Channel Islands." That's true for this one as well. Hell, even if it's a foggy day we'll see the Channel Islands, because WE'LL BE ON ONE OF THEM!
Santa Cruz Island is the largest of the Channel Islands. At 96 square miles, it's the largest island in California. The island is California in a nutshell, with two mountain ranges (with peaks over 2000 feet), a large central valley/fault system, deep canyons, year-round streams, coastal cliffs, sea caves (including one of the largest in the world), tidepools, and beaches.
The inland environment features marshes, grasslands, chaparral, and pine forests. The varied terrain supports masses of birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles to go with the sea lions and seals that lounge atop the beaches and rocks in the surf. Santa Cruz is 20 miles from the mainland, and millions of years of isolation have provided an incubator for unique animals and plants, some completely unique to Santa Cruz.
Chumash Indians beat us to the island by 9000 years, and slight remnants of their time there are still visible, as are remains of the Adobe ranch houses, barns, blacksmith and saddle shops, wineries, and a chapel let behind from the 1800s and 1900s.
The island trails are marked well and easy to follow, and there are plenty for us to explore at our leisure. We'll have over 5 hours on the island to soak in the sunshine, sea air, and amazing views.
How does this work?
We'll take a boat out of Ventura Harbor (from Island Packers). We need to be there at 8 AM for a 9 AM departure. We'll be back at the harbor around 4:30.
There are no services available on the island- bring whatever you may need, and bring whatever is left back out with you. There are some port-a-potties available.
We can bring small coolers (under 45 pounds full) and leave them at a convenient location.
In addition to the food, water, sun screen, etc. a 6 hour stay will require, bring a jacket and possibly Dramamine for the boat ride over- it's chilly and wavy.
The cost is $51 per person. I've reserved 19 spots on the boat. Beyond that, I have to prepay the entire amount, and that's not going to happen (not that I don't trust you ). If more than 19 want to go, individual spots can be reserved directly through Island Packers at $56.
Per Island Packers' requirements, the entire reservation will be billed to me, payable the day of the trip. Everyone who intends to go needs to give me $51 cash money. AMERICAN money.
(wait, I may rethink that last bit)
At the moment, I'm not going to require advance payment, but you will need to pay me before you get on the boat.
Please do not sign up unless you're going- leave the spots for those who want to go.
Link to Island Packer's site, with Channel Island info: http://www.islandpackers.com/isltrips.html