Santa Rosa Island, The Channel Islands

Dec 08, 2018 - National Geographic Venture


The morning sun illuminated a pod of dolphins drawn to our wake, creating stark silhouettes of common dolphins and California sea lions leaping over the surface of the glassy water. We enjoyed these first few hours of daylight in the company of these curious marine mammals effortlessly gliding just below our feet. Tours onboard our inflatable landing craft gave everyone a greater perspective of Santa Rosa Island in the northern portion of the Channel Islands.

Harbor seals hid amongst giant kelp and waves crashed against sandstone cliffs on the shore. The land called to us in the afternoon with hikes up Cherry Canyon and for some, encounters with the endemic island fox. With a perfect mix of sea and sand, today was the best introduction to the possibilities hidden in the Channel Islands. 

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About the Author

Emily Newton

Naturalist/Expedition Diver

Emily was raised by two veterinarians in the mountains of Central Oregon, where she spent much of her time on the back of a horse dreaming about the sea. Her fascination was solidified by visits to the Oregon Coast Aquarium and summers spent gazing into tide pools and listening for killer whales off the coast of British Colombia.  

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