A few months ago, Jesse and I decided to wield our shiny new annual National Parks pass by taking a trip to Channel Islands National Park. Funny enough, entrance to the park is free so our annual pass achieved nothing that day! Ha! I've always oogled at the islands off the coast of Oxnard and Santa Barbara for as long as I can remember. They're enormous and mysterious; these untouched mountains lining the ocean just waiting to be discovered. So for our 6-year anniversary we decided to discover them. I have to admit that being stranded on an island makes me a wee bit nervous, so we opted to start small with a trip to Anacapa, the closest and most trafficked island.
We lucked out with an overcast day as the island has no trees or overhead shelter. While on the boat, the chilled wind whipped against our cheeks as the fog slowly revealed more and more of the open ocean.
June, as we came to know, is prime season for mating seagulls. They hatch their babies on the island before heading to the mainland for a permanent home. The ranger warned us that the seagulls were a bit feisty, but oh my word, they were the craziest mass of seagulls I've ever encountered in my life.
We spent the first hour admiring the fluffy spotted baby chicks cuddling into themselves and eating out of their mother's beak. We felt like National Geographic photographers!
Cut to the second hour when we were dodging fury attacks by nail digging webbed feet aimed directly at our heads! With mere eye contact from 8ft away a momma bird would begin her aerial threat causing us to duck and cover, running for our lives. It was literally a scene out of Hitchcock's "The Birds".
By the end of the third hour, we were more than ready to leave the island. The ocean and cliff formations were breathtaking, but the constant bird attacks wore us down. They never let up!
All of that being said, Anacapa is stunning and I would highly recommend it, but would strongly advice to steer clear of visiting May through early July to avoid the birds. Although I will say that the experience with the birds was unlike anything I've ever seen and surely something I'll never forget. So if that's your thing, go for it!