Diari di viaggio

Trip Information

United States
Glassy Cathedral Point
Glassy Cathedral Point (22)
Trip Date:2006-09-15 - 2006-09-16
# Photos:6 [View]
Countries visited:United States
Viste: 2452
Ancapa Island is part of Channel Islands National Park and located about 10 miles off the coast of Ventura, California.

For the nature and wildlife photographer, it makes a great day trip with opportunities to shoot dramatic rocky seascapes along with numerous shorebirds. It you have more time or are touring this area, I highly recommend staying overnight but it does entail camping as there are no accommodations on the island.

To reach Anacapa, you must take an hour boat ride from Ventura, CA. The boat ride itself is quite an adventure. Along the way there's a very good chance you'll have to pass through a large school of friendly dolphins.

These dolphins will swim along with the fast-moving boat and often leap out of the water like this:

dolphin leap

The especially playful ones would swim directly in front of the boat just fast enough to remain a few inches ahead of it. Supposedly this playfulness indicates the high intelligence of dolphins. And although I didn't see any on this trip, chances of sighting a whale along the way are good as well.

The arrival to Anacapa is also dramatic. The little volcanic island is actually a string of three smaller islands and as you approach the east end, its cliffs rise straight up out of the ocean. You also get a great view of a large sea arch just off of the island's end.

Here's a shot of that sea arch:

sea arch

Once you reach the island, you climb up a little ladder to the dock and then ascend 154 stairs to get on top of those cliffs. You'll be welcomed with a nice view of Anacapa's lighthouse.

Anacapa is undoubtedly a small island, about a mile long and very much narrower. It's trails from end to end can be walked in one to two hours. But if you're here to concentrate on your photography you'll want to linger at the major viewpoints like Inspiration Point at the west end. Here looking due west you have a fabulous bird's eye view of the two other rocky islands that make up Anacapa.

Anacapa's shorebirds are also a main attraction. The Western gull uses the east end as a breeding ground with the peak action occurring during the summer. And the brown pelican uses the western most island.

As far as flora goes, Anacapa is well known for its Giant Coreopsis. This very odd-looking rare plant is highly drought tolerant and remains dormant almost looking dead for most of year except for when it blooms with bright yellow flowers in the spring.

In addition to photography, the island is a great place to kayak, snorkel and scuba dive.

I hope to visit this island again perhaps in the spring when the Coreopsis are blooming and the winter rains have made the hills green once again.

Doug Arrasin