Channel Islands National Park

On a Sunday morning, with a good dose of Dramamine, we embarked the Island Packers boat headed for Anacapa – the closest of the five islands making the Channel Islands National Park. The ocean was relatively smooth with only a slight swell, the sun was shining and a cool wind was blowing, perfect conditions for a day on the island.

On the way to Anacapa Island

On the way to Anacapa Island

Anacapa arch

Anacapa arch

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Steep rugged cliffs surround the entire island. The dock is built on the cliff side with 157 stairs going up to the top of the island, which makes disembarking interesting … and slow. It’s done one person at a time. While the boat is backing into the cliff, you have to grab and climb a steel-rung ladder to the dock. With the help from the crew, everybody made it safely to the shore.

Island cliffs

Island cliffs

Dock on Anacapa

Dock on Anacapa

Steep, rugged cliffs

Steep, rugged cliffs

The moment we approached the island we were greeted by a swarm of flies. I have never seen so many flies in one place. They were harmless but pretty annoying.

Really annoying flies

Really annoying flies

Other than hiking the easy 2 mile trail and enjoying the coastal views from Inspiration point, there is not a whole lot to do on the island. There is no water, food, lodging, not even trees on the island. However, there were thousands of nesting gulls, blooming coreopsis flowers, pelicans, seals and sea lions, a lighthouse and plenty of scenic views to fill 5 hours we had on Anacapa.

Pelican sighting

Pelican sighting

Yellow coreopsis

Yellow coreopsis

Gulls everywhere on Anacapa

Gulls everywhere on Anacapa

More gulls

More gulls

View from Inspiration Point on Anacapa

View from Inspiration Point on Anacapa

Not a single tree on Anacapa Island

Not a single tree on Anacapa Island but thousands of nesting gulls

Gulls everywhere on Anacapa

On the way back, everybody on the boat was tired from a day in the sun, people even gave up fighting the flies. But when our boat was surrounded by a pod of easily a thousand dolphins who decided to race us, the energy on the boat jumped up a couple of notches. The dolphins were jumping in and out of water and having so much fun. You could even hear their high pitched whistles.

Thousands of dolphins

Thousands of dolphins

Going pretty fast

Going pretty fast

Playful dolphins racing our boat

Playful dolphins racing our boat

It was a perfect end to a day in the sun.

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