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