Oxnard to Santa Cruz Island – June 23, 2019

This was one of those times when we felt that we did it, we’re cruisers! The island is secluded, gorgeous, no wifi and very little cell reception (which is always good and bad, right?). Since we can’t go to the Sea of Cortez until after hurricane season (our insurance says not til after Nov 30th) I had been looking forward to this for a long time. Thinking about it, talking about it, reading about it in my Channel Islands book. And it was awesome. We had seen a dolphin super pod on our way over, motoring through the June gloom. Who the heck knew that Southern California has June gloom? This year it lasted well into July. But we dropped anchor off the pier, and we were there. We made it. The sun broke through the thick clouds for about 20 minutes and I was in heaven.


The next day I paddle boarded on my Christmas present for the first time while getting dive bombed by a nutball seagull. I’m pretty sure that this seagull was protecting his or her nest and I’m also pretty sure that he/she wanted me dead. It would fly low, straight towards me and then veer up right at the last minute. It was really something. That seagull had a lot of cajones; I was extremely impressed. It wasn’t until I was past the seagull threat, in calm water with nothing happening that I ate it on the paddle board and tipped right over. The Pacific is cold in June and I was envisioning a shark mouth, so I shot out of there and got back up. Damien came over in the dinghy to make sure I was okay, met my seagull friend and received a few dive bombs of his own.

We went to shore on the island a few times to explore. The island was inhabited by Native Americans (mainly the Chumash) for thousands of years and there used to be an otter population. The otters were either hunted out or driven out by the oil excavated in the area. What is still on the island are lots of shells, bones, super cool looking succulents and tiny foxes. Smaller than a cat, adorable 4 pound foxes. There were signs about them everywhere, but we didn’t think we’d see one. And then sure enough, there it was. A fox! We tried to be calm and quiet so we didn’t scare it away. That thing didn’t give a damn about us. Damien walked right over to it to grab a picture, was a few feet from it and it just continued to happily burrow in the dirt. They are super cute and not scared of humans one bit.



The next morning we dinghied around the side of the island to check out some of the cool caves. We hoped to make it to the painted cave, but it was 8-10 miles away, just a little too far to dinghy to, especially when the waves pick up. Not sure how much more painted it would be than the small caves we saw; they were absolutely beautiful. The water would become shallow and a beautiful turquoise color where you can see the rocks on the bottom and all the fish swimming around (almost as good as snorkeling, but not quite). One cave had super tiny seals lounging around, we’re not sure if they were babies or just a tiny breed. I mean if they have tiny foxes, maybe everything is just tiny and adorable here. Except for the seagulls.



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