Tuesday, September 18, 2012

my kids in caves

'momma, can we go to the islands?' that was one of the first things my girl asked when she bought her ticket home. she lives in nyc now, coming back here to california for only a week, bringing her boyfriend who's not yet been to the west coast. she really wanted him to see the channel islands.

luckily, her step poppa, my chuck, works in the channel islands national park, as a sea cave kayak guide, so we made plans. we invited all the kids that could come. hannah and matt flew in sunday morning and monday morning early, we were on an island packers boat out to santa cruz....

(me, photo by chuck)

but first, on sunday, my kids are here!!

we went to lunch

 i gazed at them, happily watched them, all



on the boat, i watched them too, as they watched the dolphins

thank you dolphins for showing up and bringing joy 

i watched them sleep too

and i knit

one hour later, we are here! scorpion anchorage at santa cruz island

when you come out here you must bring all your own supplies, even water, there are no services. it's a pristine environment.

yay! family reunion! i've missed chuck also, he's been out here for days. he was on the pier to welcome us

mi familia, with girlfriends and boyfriends too  :)

after our looooong safety brief by our guide chuck (it's funny having your husband, poppa, be your guide, he has rules to follow, after all he's at work. we did our best to remain serious and respectful.)

well, most of the time

he is a wonderful guide, at the end of this post i'll share information on how to do this trip. for many it's a once in a lifetime experiance!

here we go! all water photos were taken by chuck as i'm afraid to take my camera out of the dry bag in sea caves, better to leave that to the professional

here i am in the single, matt and hannah are in the double next to me and erik and nadine are in another double in front of us, ready to go in our first cave!

wait, some of us are playing with the giant seaweed!

and others are flopping around in her boat (hannah) hee hee, now we are ready!

this is one of the larger ones. some are so narrow you need to lean back in your kayak so you don't hit your head, or get caught and tip over!

after going in and out of many caves it was time to stretch our legs and take a break

we beached our boats at a beautiful pull out and had a snack and a swim

and then we went paddling again

sometimes the mouth of the cave is small, but once you enter it opens up and the exit is huge like this! channel islands national park has the largest concentration of sea caves in the world

 hello pelicans and cormorants

and finally the paddling part of our adventure was over, it was time for a hike

 cavern point on santa cruz

scorpion anchorage, here is where we came in on the island packers boat

chuck, and in the distance are the kayaks that are used for the tours

it's time to head back, our boat is already at the pier waiting to return us to the mainland

as we were leaving, for the briefest of moments, we saw an island fox!

these tiny fox can only be found one place in the world, here! you can read more about them here

i said goodbye to chuck, he had another tour today, so he stayed on the island.

we had smooth seas on the way back, and sat quietly for most of the time reflecting on our day, while drinking a delicious cold beer. the weather was perfect today, there was no swell so we were able to enter the caves, everyone had a wonderful time, success!

back at ventura harbor, the question was raised, if you could name a boat, what would it be? here is my answer, wanderlust, i love that word and what it means.

if you go:
to learn more,
channel islands national park california

to get there,
island packers ventura

to take the 'caves and coves' tour,
channel islands outfitters  a good tip: chuck graham is the best guide  ;)

thank you my dear husband, for everything, it was an incredible day, one we'll never
forget, you are the best!
xxx lori


  1. Thank you for sharing this amazing day out!!!!!
    xxxx Alessandra

  2. what an amazing day. such great photos. i love that little fox. i am going to have to check out your link. you have such a lovely family. :)

  3. Wow. You live in a truly magical place, Lori!

  4. I would LOVE to do that one day - such a beautiful post Lori xx

  5. What a wonderful post, you all had a great day! And I'm amazed by the beautiful pictures, you had to travel too but keep up with taking pictures. The pictures are beautiful as always.

  6. First - can I tell you -- your family look like a clan of movie stars!! Gorgeous people -- all of you. And your beauty overflows into your warm smile and kind eyes. Love these pictures and I think I just may have to add your coast to my list of places to go. thanks once again my traveling friend. Wanderlust ... couldn't agree more.

  7. I love seeing you with your family :) My kids are coming home this weekend and I am looking forward to seeing them. I hope you soak up every single minute your daughter is home this week.

  8. Lori, my heart is so happy for you to have your babies home!
    Thank you for the wonderful tour, one day I plan on doing that
    in person and would love to have your Chuck as my guide and you
    in a kayak beside me, we would have a super time I know.
    Enjoy this time an soak in all the love.

  9. Lori,

    Oh how I would love to be your mother, sister or daughter......hehe!! Thank you for sharing your family day with all of us; beautiful territory.

  10. Wow, fantastic post!! I love your pictures, they tell such a great story. I'm glad I visited your page!! I'll definitely be back :)

  11. A beautiful day! So wonderful to see your children. It all looked like so much fun!

  12. i am overjoyed for you. this is not one inch short of perfection.

    with love

  13. Wow, that is amazing!! Your pictures are wonderful. Enjoy the time with your kids.

  14. Man you guys are a handsome bunch! and I feel like I've taken the trip with you...great pictures (as always!) fee x

  15. y'all look like fun! so rare to see a family that truly enjoys each other and celebrates being together -- treasure that, lori.

    thanks for the tour and photos...looks like an amazing way to explore your beautiful coast.

  16. L?ori, it's a treat to see your familia all gathered up, smiling, and ready to set sail in those small boats. I would have been terrified! See what a sissy city person I am?

    Perhaps this post of your is a perfect example of what joy blogging can bring, as it connects us with kindred spirits on some levels, and gives a chance to contemplate new challenging levels.


  17. L?ori??? See how energized my mind was by your beautiful watery post?


  18. family time around your place is a real adventure!!! such an awe-inspiring part of the world you live in!!! enjoyed being along for the ride!

  19. We lived in Thousand Oaks for 6 years and never took the trip to the Channel Islands--one day. It's on my Bucket List. I love trips with family and remember the good times we had introducing our kids to the Pacific Northwest. Your post makes me smile with good memories, XOXO

  20. what an amazing place that looks and how perfect for everyone to be together...that's the best thing. Heavenly. Happy days.
    Ps love chucks hat ...I presume that you are responsible for it.

  21. Hey!

    Wow, Doesn't Hannah look just like you!! Amazing. I love her tattoo's too.

    Looks like y'all had a great time. One day I hope to do something like this :) X

  22. What a wonderful day, and what a gorgeous family. Love love LOVE the tats! A cave trip like that is now on my list of Things I Must Do Someday. :)

  23. Oh how amazing. The pictures are stunning and I could tell how excited you were to have your kids together! It looked like an amazing adventure and maybe someday I can go on the tour. I'll keep dreaming :)

  24. What a great post! I love the photo of you smiling with your family all around you. What a great day.

  25. Aaah, California...such lovely places and lovely people!!! My dad use to build kayaks so this post is extra special for me....
    beautiful pictures!

  26. Lovely pics! My dd and I adore the fox pics! Lovely family day :)

    Claire xoxoxoxo

  27. I think I need to definitely do this. Thank you, lori.

  28. Lori that looks brilliant. I think there can be no comparison with water temperature! You ended with a cold beer we finished with a hot chocolate! A wonderful family day together. Thank you for providing details of the trip - who knows, one day maybe?


xoxo lori