Santa Cruz Island

Wow! That's all we can say. The Channel Islands are simply amazing.

Jane'O at Prisoner's Harbor on Santa Cruz Island
We are at Prisoner's Harbor on Santa Cruz Island, along with about a half-dozen other boats. Not a super protected anchorage, but we are secure in 15' of water, though East of the pier. A bit rolly on the beam at times, but a great place to be!

We spent some time walking around on the island, the first real dirt we've seen since Half Moon Bay. These islands are rugged, dry, and dusty. Not far from civilization, yet desolate and lonely. The Chumash Indians used to canoe all the way to shore - about 25 statute miles across open, unprotected seas. In the 1800's, there were several ranches on the island, and they would signal passing ships with a candle from a small building up on one of the peaks (the building is still standing). It must have been quite a life, living out in these remote islands, far from supplies and people.

Most of Santa Cruz Island is owned by the Nature Conservancy, which requires a permit to set foot across their property. The fences and NO TRESPASSING signs are rather at odds with the nature they are trying to protect. Unfortunately this private property also includes the information/interpretive center housed in the old ship signaling building! The only way to get the permit is well in advance in Santa Barbara...

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