Cdnpearly's Blog

Pearl's musings

Santa Cruz Island–the perfect day! April 24, 2012

“I wish I had a sock monkey hat”

“And then the foxes kissed!”

“Suddenly the day moved to a 12/10”

Seemingly random phrases that I will magically and impressively incorporate into a blog post…wait and see!  I will do it!

My sister Barb came out to Santa Barbara for a [long over due] visit.  Our time was limited–4 days–so careful planning went into creating an unforgettable holiday.

First we went to see the Hunger Games movie with Melissa.  We all loved it.  So gripping, so intense.  Acceptably true to the book.  Much discussion and debating ensued about the fine points of book vs. movie and casting choices…

We enjoyed a beautiful Easter brunch with Lisa and her family.  I brought a sausage brunch braid.  It was tasty!  And I’d make it again, for sure.  I recommend it for brunches or appetizers.  I swapped out the refrigerated crescent rolls for puff pastry–personal taste.  I made enough for 2 batches and we enjoyed the second one at home the rest of the week.

Debbie invited us to compete in her annual croquet tourney.  Entertaining!  ‘Nuff said!

Monday we shopped and then went to Saul’s for another glass blowing class.  My readers will likely recall that I took a class with Saul recently.  I just knew Barb would love it as much as I did…and I was right!  We both made 3 items.  Saul was wonderful, as usual. So patient and such a pro.  Thanks Saul!

Then, Tuesday we went to Santa Cruz Island! This excursion has been on my bucket list for some time.  What a thrill to be able to scratch it off, with my sister!

First, the weather forecast was iffy as the departure date drew closer.  However, we drove down the coast to Ventura with high hopes.  Traffic was a breeze, parking was easy.  We boarded the Island Packer boat and staked out the prime location:  bow (front of the boat for all you land lubbers!), main deck.  As I mentioned in my last post, Barb and I are hideously prone to seasickness.  We were pre-armed with homeopathic remedies, ginger, zip lock bags etc.  But, as it turned out we didn’t need any of our paraphernalia. The crew remarked on how unusually calm the channel was!!!  Lucky us!  Lucky fellow passengers!  We saw seal lions as we left the Ventura harbor.  And as we approached the open sea, the wind picked up.  But again,we were prepared…with cozy hats!  After donning our head-gear, a woman near us remarked: “I wish I had a sock monkey hat!”.  And we smiled–knowing how über cool we looked!

We approached the island after an hour or so.  There is a spectacular blow-hole near the Scorpion Ranch dock.  The captain pulled in close so we could have a good look at it.  Beautiful!

As we disembarked, all passengers enjoyed an orientation by a National Parks Guide (the Channel Islands is a national park, and the surrounding water is a national marine sanctuary).  We followed our guide to Cavern Point.  He shared interesting facts and kept the pace going at just the right speed.  He told us that it was the perfect day on the island–72 degrees, light wind and not a cloud in the sky.  We nailed the weather pocket!

Barb and I elected to follow the guide to Potato Harbor via the North Bluff Trail.  The views were epic–both out to sea (we were able to see the mainland) and the interior with spectacular native spring flowers including the blue dick–no, I’m not making that name up…2 guides confirmed it is in fact called blue dick.

Our delectable lunch at Potato Harbor was enhanced by the fact that sea lions were cavorting (yes, cavorting) in the shallow water far below us.  We watched as large pods of dolphins stirred up the water…birds flew over head…surreal–almost Disney movie-ish!

As we meandered back to Scorpion Ranch Anchorage, I said, “Barb, I’ll be disappointed if we don’t see any Island Fox“. Side bar:  Island Fox are ONLY found on these Channel Islands–and only 6 out of the 8 islands!

Barb scorned:  “Seriously?  Disappointed?  We’ve had the perfect day–no traffic, easy parking, no seasickness, warm sunny weather, cavorting sea lions…and you’re whining about Island foxes?”  And just then, a fox appeared!  OMG!  And then, another fox appeared!  And then (!) the foxes kissed!  I was no longer disappointed.

We lounged at the anchorage awaiting the boat to carry us home.  The water was COLD!  But, it felt good, since our dogs were tired from hiking for 5 hours…

After boarding the boat, we regained our strategic no-seasickness-position.  The boat headed back to the mainland.  Again, the crew remarked on the calmness of the channel.  Lucky us!  Again!

And then, the dolphins surrounded the boat!  Jumping and swimming around us…and suddenly the day moved to a 12/10…beyond perfection!

We arrived in Ventura harbor, escorted by dolphins and sea lions.  As we drove up the 101N, with NO traffic, we reveled in the day.

I recommend this adventure.  Book it, do it, don’t hesitate!  We loved it!

Barb left the next morning, and it was sad.  But, she has promised to come back again soon.  Can’t wait for the next adventure.

A few updates:

As promised, mentions to the wisteria spotters:  Erica–first comment in, and bringing attention to 2 new [to me] wisteria clusters; Melissa for identifying the exact location of the wisteria photo; and Thalia for noting the second wisteria location I envisioned!  Well done ladies!

I am now reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan…a fascinating and sometimes disturbing novel about Chinese women and foot binding and matchmaking.

4 days till the Santa Barbara Vision Walk!  Meghan’s Posse is doing well, with some great local press recently.  If you’re in Santa Barbara on Saturday and would like to join us as we fundraise and draw attention to retinal disease, you are warmly welcome!  My next post will be about that experience.  Thank you to all my readers who have contributed in any form…all support is so very much appreciated!

So, I did it!  Random phrases worked into a blog post!  Mission accomplished!


6 Responses to “Santa Cruz Island–the perfect day!”

  1. georgeruns Says:

    I believe the name is actually “blue dicks” rather than just “blue dick”. Unfortunately I don’t think that makes it any better; it is awkward.

  2. Your description of the day was almost as perfect as the day itself..Loved the hats..Best wishes for the walk..Love to all.

  3. mj monaghan Says:

    Sounds like a great trip, my friend! You and your sister look very much alike in the photo, and I love the sock monkey hats. I’m a little jealous! hehe

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