Cover Picture: Potato Harbor;West End of Island in Distance
This 3rd consecutive Cinco de Mayo Weekend at Santa Cruz Island will be a 3 day/2 night trip which will again be a joint outing of the VHC and my NoCal group the Monterey Bay Area Hiking Group (MBAHG). We’ll be in group sites D&F, which are ~3/4 mile on a slightly uphill dirt road from our boat landing; the total group size (including MBAHGers and VHCers) will be limited to ~24 total. Cost per person is $10.00 to cover the cost of the 2 group sites. Pay me via Paypal at: firstname.lastname@example.org [the “z” is not a typo], and pay using the “Send to friends and family in the US” option, otherwise a fee is deducted and I will receive less than the full amount.
The campground includes running water, pit toilets, picnic tables, and food lockers like the ones in Yosemite.
• BRING ALL YOU NEED TO BE SELF SUFFICIENT
• POTABLE WATER IS AVAILABLE AT CAMP SO NO NEED TO BRING YOUR OWN
• WE MUST PACK OUT ALL GARBAGE
• NO CAMPFIRES
• SINGLE USE PLASTIC BAGS, CORRUGATED BOXES and STYROFOAM COOLERS NOT ALLOWED ON THE ISLAND
• CELL RECEPTION IS EXTREMELY IFFY ON THE ISLAND, DON’T COUNT ON IT
• PLEASE HEED WARNINGS REGARDING ANIMALS-THE FOXES AND RAVENS WILL AGGRESSIVELY GO AFTER FOOD/CLOTHING/OTHER LOOSE ITEMS, AND THEY APPARENTLY KNOW HOW TO OPEN ZIPPERS
***HISTORY AND BACKGROUND***
Santa Cruz Island, the largest and most easily accessed of the Channel Islands, has a long and storied past. See this link for some fascinating background, including how the island was named: https://files.meetup.com/355866/Chapel%20of%20the%20Holy%20Cross-Excerpts.pdf
A. Meeting Place/Transport
We’ll meet at Island Packers in Ventura, 1691 Spinnaker Drive, for the ferry ride over to Scorpion Harbor, which takes about an hour.
You’ll need to make your own boat reservation through Island Packers at this link (see itinerary below): https://reserve.islandpackers.com/
The cost is $79.00 round trip ($74.00 over age 55). Cancellations allowed 72 hours prior to sailing. Free parking is available at Island Packers.
Here’s the itinerary you need to book:
1. Friday May 3: boat from Ventura to East Santa Cruz (Scorpion). You need to be on the 8am or 9am departing boat if you want to participate in our Friday hike, there is at least one later boat.
2. Sunday May 5: there are currently return boats at noon, 4:00 and 4:30, I intend to kayak on Sunday so I will take the last boat.
B. Island Packers Information:
It is critical that you review the ISLAND PACKERS WEBSITE for all pertinent instructions/requirements/information; among the matters to become familiar with are the following:
• General Santa Cruz Trip info: http://islandpackers.com/santa-cruz-island/
• Camping/Packing Restrictions and Guidelines: http://islandpackers.com/camping-overnight-gear-transport-guidelines/
****NOTE-the “official” weight limitation is 60 lbs per person excluding water and fuel!
• More detailed packing instructions: http://islandpackers.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/camper-prep2.pdf
C. Campground Information:
The area we’ll be visiting is in the Channel Islands National Park and is managed by the National Park Service. For detailed information about our campground and park, please review the NPS WEBSITE: https://www.nps.gov/chis/planyourvisit/camping.htm
We’re in group sites D&F, which are in the “Upper Loop”; these are furthest from the dock (sigh) but are the best campsites in the entire campground (yeah!!!!).
D. Activity Information:
1. Planned Hikes:
Friday (arrival day) Hike: Once we’ve done preliminary setup in camp and had lunch, there’ll be a hike around on the ocean bluffs above our camp on a route TBD depending on weather, trail conditions and the interests of the group. We may have a naturalist to give us a personalized tour. You’ll need to be on the 8am or 9am boat if you want to join on this hike.
See my comment dated 10/24/18
Sunday: This is an open day, on prior trips folks have done solo or small-group exploring around the Scorpion area. There’s lots to see and do
Kayaking is an available option and Scorpion Anchorage is a great kayaking spot. Santa Barbara Adventure Company is the sole kayak concessionaire on the island, check their website to see their offerings:
You can bring your own kayak but you must make arrangements with Island Packers regarding kayak transport to and from the island and there is an additional fee. Island Packers provides kayaking information HERE: http://islandpackers.com/watersports/
I’m bringing two kayaks over on this trip and going kayaking on Sunday
Everybody should bring sufficient food for the entire trip (including lunches on the trail), and if you need cooking equipment, bring it or arrange with someone else to share with them. I encourage folks to group up to coordinate their food/camp kitchen. We’ll have a Cinco de Mayo potluck on Friday night for those who want to participate. Alcoholic beverages are allowed and STRONGLY ENCOURAGED, we don’t want to run out!
***ATTENDANCE AND RSVPs***
To attend, please RSVP to the Waitlist. Attendance limited to ~24 people total of which about half will be VHCers and the other half will be from the MBAHG. If you are interested in attending, place your name on the wait list. Priority will be given to active participants in the VHC who will enjoy the experience with the group, and who don’t have a history of “No-Shows”. I do not allow “+1″s on this trip, anyone who wants to attend must be a member of VHC.
Once you are moved to the “yes” list, I strongly recommend making your boat reservation because the boats can sell out. Reservations are fully refundable until 72 hours before sailing so it is a relatively no-risk proposition to buy your ticket well in advance.
***WHAT TO BRING***
• Everything you need for self-sufficient camping (shelter, sleeping bag, headlamp, food, cooking and eating gear, booze etc.)
• Appropriate clothing for day, night and beach use (include layers); weather can be variable between hot and cold, wet and dry
• Sturdy hiking shoes or boots with good tread for participating in hikes
• Sun protection (hat/sunscreen)
• Trekking poles always advised
• If joining on hikes, MAKE SURE TO HAVE THE CAPACITY TO CARRY AT LEAST 3 LITERS OF WATER PER PERSON!!
• Camp chair
PLEASE – Know your limits and abilities. Bring snacks and drink plenty of liquids when hiking. Check weather conditions and dress accordingly and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Watching out for poison oak, snakes, ticks, uneven footing, spectacular views, beautiful fauna all while interacting with awesome (usually) fellow hikers can be extremely hazardous, rewarding and fun.
DISCLAIMER/RELEASE OF LIABILITY
IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ BELOW IN ITS ENTIRETY:
I am a volunteer (i.e. not liable for the group). Safety is a priority for everyone in the group. Think of this as hiking with a group of friends.
Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you’re taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The VHC Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions. If you choose to sign up for any VHC Meetup events, you are releasing the VHC Meetup Group and it’s organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries as stated in paragraph 6.2 of the Meetup “Terms of Service” located on the bottom of the Meetup website. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.