Our first day of excursion began with a celestial omen as planets aligned in the predawn sky. As morning broke, we arrived at Anacapa. The island was green with spring vegetation, and we saw flocks of western gulls, cormorants, and brown pelicans flying above the island. Three humpback whales, a pod of bottlenose dolphins, and a raft of California sea lions enchanted our guests as we cruised by. Later, guest speaker Tierney Thys used her talent of combining science with humor to introduce us to the amazing Mola mola fish.

After lunch, guests hiked on roads maintained by the National Park Service. We made it to Prisoner’s Harbor on Santa Cruz Island. Named in 1830, thirty prisoners were left in the area to, “…contemplate their past actions.” Hikers were treated to views of the endemic Channel Island fox and the endemic Santa Cruz Island scrub jay.

This was a great day visiting the “Galapagos” of the United States.