September 21-23, 2007 at Santa Cruz Island
Santa Cruz Island is 26 miles off the coast from Ventura Harbor.  This was the 4th Hiking Club trip to Santa Cruz Island.  We got kayaks and also did some snorkelling and hiking during the three days we spent there.

  Heading out of Ventura Harbor on Friday morning. We have 25 Northropers, from six different work sites.

   The latest thing is these blue whales turning up dead off the coast.  This one was the third in a month, and at 70-90' in length, they're quite a problem as they are very bouyant, and instead of sinking, they float around, posing a marine hazard for small boats.  They eventually wash ashore onto valuable California coastal real estate somewhere. Imagine paying a few dozen mil for your beach house in Malibu, and waking up one morning with this thing splayed out below your balcony, slowly decomposing in the hot sun.  Would make you wish you had David Hasselhoff on speed dial.
  So they try towing them back out , but they only wash up again further down the coast.  When they've tried cutting them up and burying them in the sand, the oil leaches to the surface, stinking up the place, then it washes back into the surf, attracting tons of sharks to the coastline,  which the surfers don't like.  And  then, we all know how badly dynamiting them can go...
So anyway, while we floated by this thing, sharks were thrashing about and tearing off chunks of blubber.  The water was full of blood, and a news helicopter was circling overhead.

  Video from the crossing, 1.8mb.

  Campground in Scorpion Valley, with mainland behind.

  Scorpion Cove.

  On a hike to the other side of the island.  Quicktime movie, 744kb.

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