Some of us who work together at Santa Barbara REI ventured out to Anacapa Island, one of the smaller Channel Islands, to do a bit of hiking and habitat restoration work yesterday. The Channels are interesting in that each island is quite different than the next. Santa Cruz, Anacapa’s much larger neighbor to the west, features more vegetation and has predatory animals like foxes roaming its slopes. Anacapa (or East Anacapa, where we were at [there are three parts to the island]) lacks any sort of mammal larger than a mouse or rabbit… and therefore there are tons of birds and lower-food-chain animals. Not that that’s a bad thing.
Alas, we took the ferry out from Ventura Harbor at 930am with our friends at Channel Islands Restoration. The boat ride was fun, across pretty choppy waters yet pearl blue water, and it lasted an hour. We pulled up into the harbor of East Anacapa, ascended about 80 stairs up, and came up to a truly unique view. Anacapa is an island that is about a mile long, relatively rolling or flat, and features pretty low-sitting vegetation. Because the island is under restoration, we had to be very careful to stay on the trail. C.I.R. gave us some tools and led us to the far western part of the island to remove some unwelcome iceplant and to plant native vegatation in its place, namely coriopsis. The work wasn’t exactly back breaking and the dirt we were playing with was pretty loose. We did this for about 3-4 hours and then hiked back to the harbor to go home.
Our hike was probably 2.5 miles or so and very easy. I highly recommend volunteering with CIR or even just taking a daytrip out there with an organization like Channel Islands Outfitters or Island Packers.
Time: We spent about 5-6 hours on the island
Length: 2.5 miles or so of easy hiking. Stay on the trails!
Elevation gain: 200′ or so?
Water consumed: 2L (there is no potable water on the island so bring plenty. it’s cool out there but exposed)
Calories consumed: about 1/4 cup of sunflower kernals for lunch. 250 calories?