Anacapa & Santa Cruz Islands

Sep 26, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Bird


On our first day exploring the Channel Islands, we woke up before sunrise and could make out shapes looming in the distance. The sun eventually revealed the striking silhouette of Anacapa Island. After a stretching session on the sundeck and a fantastic breakfast, we were ready to explore it.

A large group headed out on hikes, braving the 156 steps up the cliffs. Walking through East Anacapa, we saw an abundance of feathers and bones—evidence that this had been the home of several thousand nesting western gulls just a few months ago. Other guests took to the water, exploring Anacapa by expedition landing crafts and kayaking in the company of California sea lions, harbor seals, cormorants, and a juvenile bald eagle.

During lunch, we made our way toward Santa Cruz Island, anchoring just off Prisoner’s Harbor. There, we enjoyed a variety of hikes around the National Park Service structures and into wild areas where we found endemic island scrub jays and evidence of the endemic island fox (in the form of scat). Meanwhile, the undersea team donned dive gear and jumped into the chilly water where they encountered several invertebrates and fish, including the garibaldi, the California state fish! Capped off with incredible weather and cocktail hour on the sundeck, the first day of our expedition was amazing.

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About the Author

Ana Sofia Guerra

Undersea Specialist

Ana was born in Monterrey, Mexico, very far away from the ocean. Eleven years later, she was living in São Paulo, Brazil and, through a local sea turtle NGO, she discovered a passion for the marine world and got certified as a PADI Junior Open Water Diver at age 12. After completing high school in Mexico City, Ana moved to California to attend Stanford University. Ana obtained a degree in Biology through Stanford University and she actively sought out opportunities to do her work by or in the water. After graduating, Ana was selected as the North American Rolex Scholar of the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society. This unique diving scholarship allowed Ana to travel across the Americas, the South Pacific and Australia, where she immersed herself in variety of fields, from photography and dive guiding to marine science.

About the Videographer

Ross Weinberg

Video Chronicler

Born in Hollywood with a camera in his hand, Ross is a Los Angeles-based documentary filmmaker and photographer who is inspired by a good cause and strives to raise awareness wherever he can through his pictures and films.

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