Routine can be a scary thing when the weekend comes around. Most of us look forward to the weekend to escape the everyday work schedule we carry Monday through Friday. I am no different from most of you. All we have sometimes are those few days to escape into our own little weekend adventure.
Recently I took a trip to Santa Cruz Islands to go cave kayaking and had the time of my life. It little time to plan, moderate budget and pulled me aside from the busy life enough to recharge my spirit battery.
Instead of boring you with all the details and history of the island and what kayaking is, I will let you research that and tell you HOW to plan this trip and what you should expect.
THE BOAT RIDE
The trip itself is an hour ride on a ferry/boat that takes off the coast of Ventura, CA and lands on the coast of Santa Cruz Island. The ride is offered by “Island Packers Cruises” and it runs $50-$70 dollars round trip depending if you are camping or not. You can also buy the kayaking package from AquaSports, which includes the kayaking and boat ride. It’s usually best to go early in the morning during summer. This allows you to kayak all day once you get to the island on a warm sunny day. The captain and crew are really cool and you can buy alcohol while on board. I recommend taking medication for sea sickness just in case and sick in the back of the boat (it’s the most stable). On the way back to Ventura I was lucky enough to run into a dead whale being eating by 4 sharks. It was amazing!
ON THE ISLAND
Once the boat drops you off at the island you immediately feel relieved to be away from it all. The island is a national park so you are not allowed to bring or take anything to disrupt the natural habitat. There are no trash cans anywhere and hardly any trees.
You are taken to a nearby spot where your kayak will be waiting and where you will be taking a crash course on kayaking basics. You are given your gear (helmet, paddles, and kayak) and within 30 minutes you are set to jump into the sea.
Initially the guide will take you to the open sea, not far from the beach to “test” your new-found skills. Once you get that down you will kayak throughout the coast of the island. This is where the fun starts.
The coast is practically all caves and amazing cliffs. The water is turquoise and so clear that you can see orange fish swimming 20 ft below your kayak. If you are lucky enough you might get a seal come up next to your kayak close enough to pet it, like I did!! Don’t psych yourself, the water is rough at times and can get scary if you don’t know how to maneuver your kayak properly. Because you are navigating between tight caves and rough waters, you need to be able to know how to turn and reverse your kayak.
WHAT TO TAKE WITH YOU (while kayaking)
If you want to take photos, I recommend taking a water proof bag or case that will allow you to take photos while keeping your phone or camera dry. In addition, I took a water tight case that I attached to the kayak where I stored snacks and misc items like sunscreen, and glasses. Also, I must warn you that you will get a work out on your arms and back. You will see amazing views of cliffs, wildlife and the ocean so please take a camera!!
OPTIONAL ACTIVITY (snorkeling)
If you feel you want to get the most out of this trip, I recommend snorkeling. You will see some great underwater wildlife and plant life. The gear is provided free of charge by Aqua Sports crew if you are nice to them :).Advertisements