Santa Catalina Island

Sep 28, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Bird


Waking up off the shore Santa Catalina Island is a special treat. This morning we went ashore in an isolated area of the island called Little Harbor. Guests were able to enjoy several different interpretive hikes and also have time to relax on the beach and swim in the clear water of this protective cove.

Sitting just 26 miles off the coast of Long Beach, California, Santa Catalina Island is a popular getaway for many tourists. Over one million visitors come each year, but only a very small percentage of these visitors ever venture beyond the one-square-mile town of Avalon, making this visit to Little Harbor very special. Since purchasing Catalina Island in 1920, William Wrigley and the Wrigley family have donated 88 percent of the island to be managed and maintained by the Catalina Island Conservancy. The Conservancy limits and regulates all human activities outside the incorporated city of Avalon and works to restore some balance to the island’s endemic species and unique ecosystems. On our overlook hike today, we not only saw views of the open Pacific Ocean, but also sightings of the Catalina quail, fox, and ground squirrel – all unique and only found on this island.

After a great morning, we made the short transit to Avalon and took in an afternoon of visiting local shops, unique dining, and a chance to independently explore this oasis off the coast of Los Angeles.

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About the Author

Travis Patten

Naturalist

Travis Patten grew up in Minnesota on the shore of Lake Superior where he was brought up in a family culture of appreciation for all things water related. He learned an appreciation for nature from his grandfather and works to echo the lessons he was taught at a young age. Travis earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Western Colorado State University and began a career in experiential education. Working with ski patrol during the winters and as a rafting and climbing guide during the summers, Travis honed his outdoor experiences and safety protocols through a variety of mediums. Returning to Minnesota, Travis earned a master’s Certificate in Environmental Education from the University of Minnesota and moved to California where he worked as a marine science instructor on Catalina Island. Since falling in love with ocean life, Travis has worked on the Sea of Cortez as a sea kayak guide and marine biologist while living in Baja and has guided eco adventure tours in South East Alaska. Travis has studied and learned from close interactions with various indigenous cultures and feels understanding their history is an integral component of each voyage.

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