Channel Island National Park June 4, 2005Posted by MM in Travel.
It is nice to go to Channel Island (official site: http://www.nps.gov/chis/). But it is not a National Park like Yosimeti, where multi-generation family members can enjoy a vacation together. Four out of 5 islands require more than one day staying and you can only camp there. There is no entrance fee. Camping is about $7.35/day. But the main cost is how to get there. In 2004, Island PackerCruises is the park’s conly concessionaire for boat travel departing from Ventura and Channel Islands Harbors to all of the islands (www.islandpackers.com/). Truth Aquatics (http://www.truthaquatics.com) is the park’s concessionaire for boat travel departing from Santa Barbara Harbor to all of the islands.
Camarillo airport, is the park’s concessionaire for air travel to Santa Rosa Island. PP and I saw the airport in the island but at that time we didn’t know it was the only aviation that you can reach the Channel Island National Park.
If you plan for only one day visit, Santa Cruz is your only choice. Check out the boat schedule first and schedule your trip. We chose Santa Rosa for I read that there are rats in Santa Cruz since it is the most popular island and has drinkable water available for campers. For Santa Rosa, we need to bring our own water and food. It is more like an adventure trip to me. But actually Santa Cruz is pretty cool too according to some people on the boat.
The park opens year round and the climate is mild. It says “be prepared for high winds, fog, and sea spray at any time” and when we arrive there, we understand the winds part immediately. Since we hadn’t learn to suba diving yet, the activity we planned was kayaking and hiking. It was about 2 – 3 hours ride on the boat. There are beautiful dolphin packs that accompany the whole trip. It is pretty pleasant trip except that it is very very windy. The boat to Santa Rosa will stop by Santa Cruz first so you need to mark your belongings well. It was about 12pm when we arrived at Santa Rosa and all the travellors seemed to be very kind, for everyone try to help the crew to unload the backpacks and gears and move them in a truck. It takes a while to walk from the harbor to the camp ground site. So it was great that the facility staff helped to drive the truck there with all the gears. Well, they helped to move back from the camp site to the harbor too but we missed the time. Therefore, when we walked all the way back with my backpack (remember at that time, we already consume all the food and water), I was tired to death.
After we set up our camp and ate a little bit, we went out back to the harbor and kayaked. We felt that we went really fast and pp figured out that because the wind is so strong, we better try to go against the wind and see whether we will be strong. Hell no, going against the wind is the worst thing you want to do in Santa Rosa. So we kayaked a while and stopped by a beach. Oh, the sand is so nice and white. It is the nicest one I have seen in Southern California. It is the perfect beach like a small deserted island in the tropical area except for the wind and the cold water.