CA: Santa BARBara Co: NChi: Santa Cruz Island: Hike to Coches Prietas
Funky friday was a success…as usual! Steve took us over the north facing slope and down its south facing slope for a swim at Coches Prietas Beach. Along the way we stopped on the road to enjoy the view of the island. There are so many grooves and tiny hills (mountains). We saw many new flowers, but most of us were on the hunt for the Calochortus, sadly nobody found it by the end of the day.
When we got to the top of the ridge, we all noticed we were standing on a beehive, UNDERGROUND! Quickly stumbling off the darker soil, we dropped to our knees to exam the black bees pushing their large bodies out of the dirt to fly away. After observing long enough to understand that the bees live solitary, but in close proximity to one another, like neighbors. Continuing on our way to the beach, we were told to off trail down the steep south facing slope by Steve to hit the main road to the beach.
Amanda and I booked it to the beach by running down the slope like mountain goats in order to jump into the perfect ocean water. When everyone made it to the beach, everyone was either sun bathing naked, swimming naked or observing the beach clothed. The three hours we spent out at the beach was greatly enjoyed and appreciated by all. Three amazing presentations by Corey, Christian, and Amanda/Ryan. An Elephant Seal beached itself in front of Tessa and Lupita, they named her Barb. We saw many invertebrates and birds, including a very lost Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. This bird is typically only found in Texas, but seen by a handful of students on the island! It was a life bird for some of us which is very cool! After tracking back to the reserve, we all got some down time. It was a great, tiring, and eventful day. This island is proving to be one of a kind.