Kayak Kruizin’ Anacapa Island

Experienced paddlers frolic at Anacapa

link arial, viagra sale sans-serif;”>By George Miller

Some members of SoCal paddling club “California Kayak Friends” (http://www.ckf.org) went to Anacapa Island Saturday to play along the coast.


CKF President Lee Shurie in surf boat at Anacapa Island, CA. Photo: Mark Sanders

A message from participant Mark Sanders:

Lee, Bob M., Steve, Sam, Bob G., Lance and I all had a great time in the waters of Anacapa on Saturday. Five long boats (sea kayaks) and Lee and I in shorts (small surf kayaks). The long boats  went for a circumnavigation of Anacapa Island (this can be up to 15 miles, if you hug the coast), while Lee and I leisurely explored the caves and water features. Weather was perfect and the water crystal clear. Lee and I shared a cove with gang of Leopard Sharks swimming beneath us (see photo). I rolled my kayak with my goggles on to get a closer look and a couple of photos. After the paddle, we walked to the top of the island to wait for the boat–my first time on top!
A great day on the water.  – Mark Sanders



Leopard shark photographed by Mark Sanders, while upside down, in a kayak, at Anacapa Is., 8-8-15


This photo of Anacapa Island is courtesy of TripAdvisor.com


image003 (1)

CKF President Lee Shurie paddling out of a cave into surf at Anacapa Island, CA. Photo: Mark Sanders

Outside a cave. This photo of Anacapa Island is courtesy of TripAdvisor


Transportation to and from the island from Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard is usually provided by Island Packers boat “Vanguard.”

Island Packers boat “Vanguard,” based at Channel Islands Harbor, off the island. This photo of Anacapa Island is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Killer Whale off Anacapa Island. This photo is courtesy of TripAdvisor


Note: We do not recommend that you do such a trip unless you have the rerquisite skills and equipment or go with a qualified kayak outfitter, which Island Packers could refer you to. You must make special arrangements and pay an extra fee to bring your own kayak.

Seals on a gravel beach. This photo of Anacapa Island is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Official club trip report: “Anacapa Adventure”:

Saturday morning about 7 am we began arriving at Island Packers in Oxnard to load up for our trip to Anacapa Island. The loading went quick because we all knew the system from past trips and we helped each other out. Ten paddlers had signed up but unfortunately a few had last-minute things come up. They missed a great day on the water. And we missed them.

Participants were: Steve Wilson, Mark Sanders, Bob McMurray, Lee Shurie, Bob Glickman, Lance Pillsbury, and Sam from La Crescenta.

At 8:00 sharp we left the dock. We kayakers chose the top deck for the ride out and so we had a great view of the wide open ocean as well as the many large pods of dolphin which accompanied us or crossed our path. The temperature was perfect and the marine layer was burning off to make it a fabulous day for a boat ride. Just the ride by itself would have made the day memorable.

About 9:30 am we arrived at the landing cove and went through the unloading process – which went smoothly. Soon we were dressed and proceeding to launch the boats. This too went smoothly – each person lending a hand to others in a well-coordinated and natural manner. We are on the water about 10:30. Mark Sanders and I were the last to launch since we were in short boats and could seal-launch from the landing. Neither of our launches were especially pretty but they were successful. Both of us went in nose first and then upside down, but rolled up smoothly. Some folks had cameras but I don’t know if any of this was captured on film.

We all headed toward the famous arch, and we quickly noticed the waves rolling through the gap from the south. They weren’t formidable, but made for a good show! Five (Bob M, Steve, Bob G, Lance, and Sam) headed through the arch and right out on a circumnavigation – hugging the south side closely and taking their time to explore the southern coastline. After they got to the west end they picked up the pace a bit and landed at Frenchy’s Cove for lunch.

Meanwhile, Mark and I explored every feature we could find. Our short boats prevented us from joining the others on the trip around the island but we found much to keep us entertained. We went through caves and arches and then played in some of the rock features on the south side. After that we turned around and came back to the arch area to play “Pirates of the Caribbean” in the caves at the point. We then explored every single feature, crevice, cave, arch, and spillover on the south side of East Anacapa, taking about 3 hours just to get 2 miles to the first gap (oh – and to stop at Cathedral Cove for a quick lunch). We also took a bit of time to watch a couple dozen leopard sharks in one of the coves. Hopefully Mark got some good photos of them. At the gap we played where the southern swell and northern swell met. The waves weren’t too large but when they met there was a quick and strong vertical ride accompanied by a big splash.

About this time we called on the VHF radio to see if the other group was at Frenchy’s. If we had raised them we planned to paddle to Frenchy’s to meet them for lunch. But no reply came so we turned and headed back toward the landing cove. We didn’t know it at the time but the other group was on its way. They caught us near the landing cove. It was getting on toward 5 hours on the water so most were ready to land.  Lance wasn’t done and headed to the arch while the rest of us hauled boats up onto the top of the landing. He returned just as we were finishing. Good timing. After that some of us jumped in for a refreshing swim and gosh the water was so nice; it felt great to cool off and float in the cove for a while.

After getting dressed we all headed up to the top of the island. Some had not been up there before and some went along for a bathroom break. We found a few benches in the shade of a mini-museum and rested a spell while we talked about old times and new times. The day permitted no troubles, no worries, no cares, just many fun kayaking moments to share with a good solid group of proficient paddling friends.

We figured by now that the day had been filled with more fun and memories than we could hold. However on the way back to the mainland we got to see some whale spouts and also a great white shark. The shark was swimming at the surface so you could follow the fin wherever it went. At first the boat captain thought it might be a hammerhead or a mako but then we got a clearer view and he announced it was a great white. We milled around that area for 20 or 30 minutes and the shark stayed close by. Clearly it was not intimidated by us. Nice treat!

Thanks to my fellow paddlers for making this such a fun and memorable trip. As I drove home I could tell my body was weary but my mind replayed all the great moments of the day and the company of old friends, and I began dreaming of the next grand adventure!

Best regards,


The iconic east end of Anacapa Island, near the boat landing. This photo of Anacapa Island is courtesy of TripAdvisor


Advertisement- 740 South B Street, Oxnard, (805) 486-6878

Advertisement- 740 South B Street, Oxnard, (805) 486-6878

Some photos provided by http://www.tripadvisor.com, in Anacapa Island section, where specified.


George Miller is Publisher of Citizensjournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.

Get free Citizensjournal.us BULLETINS. Please patronize our advertisers to keep us publishing and/or DONATE.

Scroll down to comment

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments