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Anacapa Island Adventure – Getting There is Half the Fun!

Published on: January 22, 2012

Spring is an incredibly exciting season to visit Anacapa Island, one of a series of the Channel Islands you can see along the Central California coast. In addition to viewing thousands of nesting seabirds up close and personal (after¬† you arrive on the island and climb the dozens of steps that are mounted to the side of the mountain,) you might get a show during the hour+ trip from Oxnard to Anacapa. Whale watching has been incredible in 2012 and the boat typically will stop to watch if there’s a whale sighted nearby. If you can allocate a day, don’t just whale watch, but take time to visit this unique National Park comprised oceans, caves and islands. There is no fee to visit the park–only the cost of a boat ride (islandpackers.com).

Anacapa Island is known as the most popular nesting place along the coast for seagulls–and the stewards of the island in the National Parks Service have gone to great lengths to protect this important habitat. Monitoring bird populations (as well as sea urchins and other marine life,) Anacapa became known among scientists for an ecological restoration project which proved successful in 2001 and 2002 when rats (presumably introduced by humans) were eradicated from the island. Rats aren’t native to Anacapa but once introduced, they are efficient scavengers, gobbling up the speckled eggs of seagulls, brown pelicans, and other birds that go to Anacapa for a safe haven during and after mating season.

The Farallon Islands off the shore of San Francisco have been compared to the Galapagos, but Anacapa also receives the same title as the Galapagos of California for its pristine environment normally only accessible to birds, butterflies and things that fly.  The visit offers a rare, inside glimpse of nature, and getting there often is half the fun. And believe it or not, kids can come!

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