One of eight islands that comprise the Channel Islands archipelago, Anacapa is one of five islands that form Channel Islands National Park. East Anacapa (where we camped), Middle Anacapa, and West Anacapa – three separate islands – all comprise Anacapa Island, the second smallest of the northern islands. Just 11 short miles off the coast of Oxnard, Anacapa Island is the closest to the mainland. Yet, it’s worlds away from anything familiar.
“What you’re going to see is like something on ‘National Geographic,’” Ranger Helen told us after we disembarked from our boat with our camping gear in hand.
Home to about 69 species of birds, the U.S.’ largest breeding colony of California Brown Pelican, and the world’s largest breeding colony of Western Gulls, Anacapa is literally birds’ island. And there are droppings everywhere to prove it. Further, the waters surrounding Anacapa are home to California sea lions, great white sharks, and dense kelp forests.
Deserting ourselves for a weekend of camping on an island inhabited by thousands of birds definitely made for an interesting experience, and surprisingly, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity that I'd highly recommend.
*Note: All of the white specks in this picture...yeah, those are birds!