Channel Islands Crossing: Day Seven – Northern Island Channels

Posted Feb 13, 2012 in Blog

February 12, 2011

We wake up before sunrise this morning.  It is spookily quiet and dark. I will be starting my crossings today with the rising sun.  John, Shelly and Ryan are getting in the dingy so they can get some closer photos this morning.  I am climbing on my board as the sun is just starting to rise.













The sunlight is glowing off the huge cliffs and it takes my breath away.  I have a flood of emotion overcome me. This is it… this is why I’m here… to experience a moment like this.  It is magical.  I feel an overwhelming sense of freedom and peace and calm.  I am feeling extremely lucky to have this opportunity.  I know this is going to be a great day!












I am paddling from San Miguel to Santa Rosa island. I will be doing three crossings today.  The first crossing seems like it goes by really quickly.  I have made it to Santa Rosa and my spirits are high.












I am getting ready to do the second crossing of the day from Santa Rosa to Santa Cruz.  The water is glassy. I turn my music on and decide to this crossing at a quicker pace.  It is the first time of the trip that I feel like I am really moving.  It is also the first time that I haven’t had to deal with a head or side wind.  My music is blasting and I am not scared of anything today.  My boat is impressed by my speed.  I have made it to Santa Cruz Island.  Santa Cruz island is the largest of the eight Channel Islands.













I climb on the boat and hear the crew talking about UFO’s.  There have been a lot of UFO sightings in the Channel Islands.  UFO enthusiasts believe there is an underwater UFO Base in these Channels somewhere.  I don’t know that UFO  is also the crews secret code word for sharks.  The skies and seas continue to be friendly until our boat shutters and abruptly ceases to move forward.  Chris has to dive under the boat again to see what the problem is.  When chris comes back up he has an armful of plastic.  He climbs back on board and says, “say no to plastic.”

It is time for me to start my third and final crossing of the day.  I am paddling from Santa Cruz to Anacapa. I am excited to get started because finally I am going to have wind at my back. The boat can tell from my body language that I am having fun.  I look over at the boat and they are smiling at me and give me a thumbs up.  I am riding some bumps and actually hoping that this crossing wouldn’t end.  There are birds in the water everywhere.  The birds dive down as I paddle through.  It is unbelievable how many birds there are.  Anacapa hosts the largest breeding colony of Western Gulls in the world.













I have arrived to Anacapa where we will anchor for the night.  Today was a really good day.  I have my last and final crossing tomorrow.  It will my longest and hardest.  I eat a big dinner and head off to bed to get a good nights sleep.  THE CROSSING: VIDEO
















Nicholas Flores
February 13, 2012 4:44 am

As a seeker and lover of adventure, the blog and pics are so inspiring. As a seasoned marathon runner, I can imagine the solitude of moving across the water alone. I love the pic of you coming into calm waters. Very inspirational.

How many hours was your longest paddle? And did you have any serious head or cross currents?

Sending you the most positive of vibes possible for the rest of the trip. Life is the magic we make of it.


Karol Bailey
February 13, 2012 4:57 am

So energizing and grounding — at the same time. Karen you are one brave, strong, inspiring woman — love your blog! And, Shelly, as always, your photos capture the essence of what Karen is doing. What a great team you make — thanks for sharing all of this!

Bill Mattson
February 18, 2012 9:59 pm

Very interesting challenge. It appears you had ideal conditions for this, which is rare. I’ve done several channel crossings on a beach catamaran from Ventura and Santa Barbara to Ancapa, Santa Cruz, and Santa Rosa. See . I’ve had it both too calm and too rough. It’s nice to see the weather cooperated for you.

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