Spring Weekend on the Channel Islands Photo Workshop Tour
March 22-25, 2013 - There are eight Channel Islands spanning a 160 miles off the coast of Southern California. We will be visiting Santa Cruz and Anacapa Islands, two of five islands comprising Channel Islands National Park. The islands rose from the ocean millions of years ago and were born of plate tectonics, volcano activity and fluctuating sea levels. During the ice ages these islands were once connected as the polar ice caps expanded. Also during this time, the islands were most accessible to the mainland’s flora and fauna. When the seas rose again it created the islands and isolated them to evolve separately from the mainland as well as one another. The Channel Islands are home to over 2,000 terrestrial plants and animals, of which 145 are found nowhere else in the world. Often referred to as the Galapagos of North America because of their isolation and the fact you cannot drive to the park means it is one of the least visited parks in the national park system. The boat ride out and back is sure to thrill as we likely will encounter sea lions, dolphins and breaching humpback whales. There are no services on any of the islands, which means we will be camping one night on Anacapa and two nights on Santa Cruz. You will need to bring everything you would need over this four day tour including food, shelter and camping gear. On Anacapa we will be focused on the scenic views of Inspiration Point, Arch Point and the light station, as well as more intimate views of wildflowers and nesting seabird rookeries. On Santa Cruz we will be hunting foxes, the Channel Island Fox should be readily seen on this island and we will also see abundant wildflowers and native plant species found only here. There are numerous cliff side views, rolling grasslands and canyon vistas to photograph. We will make an eight mile round trip hike to the top of Montana Ridge for an awe inspiring 360° view of the island, surrounding islands and Pacific Ocean. Weather beaten and stunted the oaks found on the ridge top are a photographers dream along with the silver lotus plant and other endemic plant species. Bald Eagles and Brown Pelicans also make their home on these islands and are regularly seen fishing off shore. Join me for some island photography in one of our most remote and little visited national parks.