So this has nothing to do with food. BUT if you get out to the Santa Barbara area – or maybe you’re already there. You MUST try this. No joke. I am not a bucket-list person, but if I was, this would be on it.
During my fabulous vacation I decided to do something more than just sit around and eat and drink wine all the time (though let’s be fair, that was the MAJORITY of vacation) but I am rather adventurous and mildly athletic and thought “why not just kayak into caves in the middle of the ocean?!”
I had never heard of the Channel Islands before finding them randomly on a google map and I was instantly intrigued. Then I started reading about how amazing kayaking is supposed to be out there. The middle of nowhere? Not too far from LA? Uninhabited? Hiking and kayaking (even though I’m not at all capable of swimming strongly) Yes please!
I went with Santa Barbara Adventure Tours based on their awesome ratings, and the company was great. My guide was Laird and he was very patient and gave lots of cool tips about the wildlife and history of the islands.
Now, I wish I had a little more faith in my athletic ability but I had none. I didn’t take the camera out into the kayak for the glorious shots of the caves I kayaked in and out of. But check out the tour’s website and they have some awesome shots.
I was blessed with some amazing weather and calm seas. I spent about 3 or 4 hours out on the water and despite never having kayaked before, I did really well! It was exhausting, but so beautiful. The last cave I went into had this insane luminescent sunlight coming through under the rocks and it made the water look emerald and sparkly.
After kayaking I had lunch – which I brought, the company doesn’t provide- which was good for me since I am such a pain when it comes to eating anyway. And then I hiked up to the top of the island where all of these photos were taken. (Not with the DSLR, I was afraid it would get wet or dropped. I took the standard point-and-shoot for these. And they’re still beautiful!)
It was a full day – leaving LA at 5:30am to get up to Ventura to head out on the boat to the islands, kayak, lunch, hike and then return home. But it was so so worth it. And I saw a million dolphins! Well, not a million. But a lot. And of course I couldn’t manage to get a decent photo of any of them…
In any event, if you find yourself in the area, definitely try to do this excursion. You won’t regret it.