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National Park Wednesday; Channel Islands National Park and East Anacapa Island

This past month I visited Channel Islands National Park for the third time.  The destination on this particular trip was East Anacapa Island.


Channel Islands National Park is located in California and consists of five of eight of the Channel Islands of Santa Barbara Channel.   Channel Islands National Part currently consists of nearly 250,000 acres of land and water.  Protection of the Channel Islands began in April of 1938 when Anacapa Island and Santa Barbra Island were added to Channel Islands National Monument.   Channel Islands National Monument was declared in March of 1980.  The new Channel Islands National Park added Santa Rosa Island, San Miguel Island and Santa Rosa Island to the previous protected lands of Anacapa Island and Santa Barbra Island.

My journey to East Anacapa Island began from Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard.  From Channel Islands Harbor there is about a dozen miles of open water in Santa Barbara Channel to East Anacapa Island.  Exiting Channel Island Harbor provides an excellent view of Naval Station Ventura County.






In 2019 there was only a handful of dolphins to be seen in Santa Barbara Channel on a somewhat murky day with a low overcast fog line.


Back 2016 when I last visited East Anacapa Island that definitely wasn't the case when there was a massive pod of hundreds of dolphins present.











The trip to East Anacapa Island passed by a remaining oil platform in Santa Barbara Channel and a medium size freighter ship.




Approaching East Anacapa Island the weathered Arch Rock and Anacapa Island Light both come into view.   East Anacapa Island is the eastern most of three islands that make up what is known as Anacapa Island.  Anacapa Island along with Santa Barbara Island were formed from volcanic eruptions which occurred 19-15 million years ago.  Anacapa Island is a cliff island chain which is eroding into Santa Barbara Channel. 





The landing at East Anacapa Island was built in 1930 when construction of the Anacapa Island Light began.  The first Anacapa Light was simply a 50 foot spire which was erected in 1912.  In 1933 the Anacapa Island Light became operational when it's Fresnel Lens was installed.  The 1933 Anacapa Island Light remained an active Coast Guard Station despite being annexed into Channel Islands National Monument in 1938.  During World War II the Navy also manned Anacapa Island as a surveillance platform as the Anacapa Light was blacked out.   During it's peak the Coast Guard Station on Anacapa Island had numerous homes form families, a single enlisted barracks and a water tank facility capable of holding 30,000 gallons of water.  The Anacapa Island Light was automated in May of 1967 and the remaining Coast Guard Station was slated for demolition.  In 1970 the Coast Guard Station was transferred to the Park Service which preserved the buildings.  One building houses the Fresnel Lens of the Anacapa Island Light.























East Anacapa Island includes about 2 miles worth of trails.  The signature view point is located west of the Anacapa Island Light and is known as Inspiration Point.  Inspiration Point looks eastward towards Middle and West Anacapa Islands.  There is no access to the coast on East Anacapa Island aside from the 1930 Coast Guard landing.






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