21 April 2016: Santa Cruz Island, here we come!

Ventura Harbor, preparing to load Island Packers

Dolphins!

Author: Amanda

CA: Santa Barbara Co: Cuyama Valley to Santa Cruz Island

Today started out with a little chaos. As one would expect from a 4:21 am wakeup. As it was April 21st at 4:21am and Carrie’s 21st birthday we sang her a birthday tune in a near whisper as we rose. It was a very lovely way to wake up and start the day. Here we go! We packed up our things and loaded the vans to take off from Steve’s ranch at Condor’s Hope en route to Ventura to to catch the ferry. Everyone got some more shut eye on the drive there. Shoutout to those awesome folks keeping the sleepers safe! Thanks drivers 🙂 After a quick pit stop for some starbucks fuel we headed to the harbor to load up. Everything miraculously got put in a cooler/box/plastic bag and hauled onto the boat so we could leave for Santa Cruz Island! The boat ride was a little over an hour and we saw SO MANY FREAKING BIRDS! And a pod of common dolphins working together on a bait ball.

Upon arrival to the island we loaded up all our gear in these funny old school trucks to get to the research station. Not 2 minutes after starting the drive we saw an island fox! WOW! On the ride over I could feel our excitement building…..Jepson’s nearly jumping out of our packs. But really, so many endemic plants! After settling in we took a short and slow (mountain time) stroll towards Sherwood forest where we took 2+ hours to cover 150 yards. But we couldn’t help it! There’s just so much to see! And it’s just getting started here.

Man Root… In the flesh!