Channel Islands 2014

Channel Islands 2014 Blog #3

Written by Kalei A. of Scotts Valley High

July 16, 2014 

Torrey Pines Hiking Trail

Torrey Pines Hiking Trail

Today we woke up at 7 am sharp to a fantastic breakfast of blueberry pancakes, eggs, and bacon. It was very delicious! We started the day earlier than usual because we had a pretty big list of things to do. We separated into our groups to do labs. One lab involved the rocky tide pools and the other involved plankton. I was in the group to start at the tide pools. We explored the tide pools and looked at the different species of animals and algae. The exploration was cut short so we had to cancel our tide pool lab and return to the boat. We then changed plans. Instead of doing the tide pool lab the group did fish ID instead where we had to identify the species on the cards. The point of this was for snorkeling later in the day. After that, we swapped groups and started the plankton lab. We chose to collect the plankton horizontally instead of vertically (what the last group did) to see how much plankton was at the water’s surface. After collecting the plankton, we came back to have a delicious lunch of enchiladas, rice, beans, guacamole, salsa, and chips! We were all very hungry after all that work!

Santa Rosa Buckwheat

Santa Rosa Buckwheat

After lunch, we moved to the north part of Santa Rosa Island to go hiking on the Torrey Pines trail. We saw a really cool plant called the Santa Rosa buckwheat which is only native to Santa Rosa. It was quite a lot of work to get to the area of the Torrey pine trees. It was definitely worth it though because they were spectacular. We learned that the Torrey pines were only native to two areas: Santa Rosa and San Diego. We also learned that they receive their water supply from rain and fog. I thought it was very interesting that the Torrey pines received moisture from the fog.

Santa Cruz Island Sea Cave

Santa Cruz Island Sea Cave

After the long hike, we got back onto our boat and sailed to Santa Cruz Island. It was about an hour and a half ride down there so we had some snacks off the veggie tray and played some ukulele. We sailed past certain parts of Santa Cruz Island and it was amazing. It was full of sea caves! There were so many of them and they looked so beautiful! They got bigger and bigger as we moved along the island. We arrived at a sea cave large enough to fit the boat in. We drove the boat into the sea cave and it was so beautiful. It was amazing. The sea caves were wonderful! We found a place to station the boat and we had dinner. The meat eaters got ham and the vegetarians got stuffed bell peppers. Everyone got a side of sweet potatoes, green beans, and salad. We also got warm biscuits! It was so delicious!

After dinner, we got the choice of kayaking or snorkeling. I chose to snorkel with a couple other people. We swam towards the edge of the island, towards a small sea cave. When we looked underwater it was amazing. We saw everything from giant kelp, to sea urchins, to sea anemones. We saw so many fish. We saw the California state fish, the Garibaldi. Another one that we saw is called the señorita fish. It is a very long and skinny yellow fish. After snorkeling for a while, we went back to the boat, showered, and had a delicious dessert of brownies with vanilla ice cream! It was very, very good! We ended the night with cards, of course. Today was quite the adventure. We saw so many new things!!

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