"Aerial view" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Santa Cruz Island

Sea Kayaking Map for Eastern Santa Cruz Island

brochure Santa Cruz Island - Sea Kayaking Map for Eastern Santa Cruz Island
Channel Islands National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Channel Islands National Park Kayaking Information Kayaking Regulations and Safety for Eastern Santa Cruz Island Kayaking is a unique and rewarding way to experience the pristine marine environment of eastern Santa Cruz Island. Here you will encounter spectacular displays of wildlife. The island’s cliffs, their numerous caves and the rest of the coastline and neighboring islets are home to twelve different species of nesting seabirds and shorebirds, including ashy and leach’s storm-petrels, Xantus’s murrelets, Brandt’s and pelagic cormorants, Cassin’s auklets, pigeon gillemots and black oystercatchers. Santa Cruz, the other Channel Islands, and all their associated islets and offshore rocks comprise one of the largest breeding centers on the west coast for seabirds and shorebirds. California sea lion and harbor seals also rest and breed throughout the island’s shoreline. The protection and preservation of these rare and unique marine resources is a major mission of the National Park Service. By following the wildlife-specific regulations listed below, you can help protect these park treasures for future generations to enjoy. Also, within this marine environment you will face new challenges and may encounter unexpected dangers. Since the marine environment can be unforgiving, follow the safety information listed below and use extra caution when engaging in these activities. This bulletin is designed specifically to help in planning a safe, enjoyable, and environmentally sound sea kayak trip in the park. For more information on kayaking in the park including planning your trip, weather, safety, and other park regulations please refer to the park newspaper or visit www.nps.gov/chis/. Regulations In addition to the regulations listed below, visitors should follow the “Limiting Your Impact” guidelines listed in the park newspaper and must comply with all regulations in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and the Superintendent’s Compendium. Visit www.nps.gov/chis/ for a complete list of regulations. Xantus’s Murrelet As in all national parks, natural and cultural resources are protected under federal law. Visitors may not collect,harass, feed or otherwise harm the native wildlife, plant life or other natural and cultural resources of Channel Islands National Park. These include, but are not limited to, vegetation, animals, rocks, shells, feathers and other natural, archeological, and historic features within the park. Under federal law it is illegal to feed, touch, tease, frighten or intentionally disturb wildlife, including seabirds, seals and sea lions. They are very sensitive to any type of human disturbance, especially during nesting and pupping seasons. [Title 36CFR 2.2 (a)(2)] Do not directly or indirectly feed the native wildlife. Wildlife can become habituated to human food by being fed. Once habituated, these animals will beg for food, becoming nuisances to visitors. In addition, habituated animals may bite and transmit diseases, and may consume plastics which obstruct their digestive systems, causing them to starve. Secure your food and garbage at all times. [Title 36CFR 2.2 (a)(2)] Safety No lifeguards on duty. All watersports are at your own risk. Use the buddy system. Open ocean conditions. You are not in a protected cove. Be alert to wind, waves, and currents at all times. Weather and Sea Conditions • Always observe and evaluate sea conditions before entering the water. Check marine weather forecast for the East Santa Barbara Channel in advance. To protect wildlife, landing is prohibited on all offshore rocks and islets . [Superintendent’s Compendium 36 CFR 1.5 (a)(1)] Visitors may not set foot ashore inside sea caves, including, but not limited to ledges and beaches. [Superintendent’s Compendium 36 CFR 1.5 (a)(2)] To protect nesting ashy storm-petrels and Xantus’s murrelts and their habitats, Bat Cave and caves #3 and #4 within the Cavern Point Cove Cave Complex are closed year-round. Bat Cave hosts the largest nesting colony for the rare ashy storm-petrel in the world with over 100 nests. The Xantus’s murrelet is proposed for state and federal endangered species listing. [Superintendent’s Compendium 36CFR 1.5 (a)(1)] Bat Cave: UTM 11S 0262623, 3770695 Lat. N34°03’07.2”, Long. W119°34’25 Cavern #3 & #4: UTM 11S 0263641, 3770901 Lat. N34°03’16.0”, Long. W119°33’41 Marine Reserves are closed to fishing. The area between Scorpion Rock and Potato Harbor from the shoreline out to 3 nautical miles is a State Marine Reserve— the take of living, geological, or cultural resources is prohibited. Please see the park newspaper or a ranger for more information on marine reserves. •Use the buddy system. Stay together and conduct your watersports within the skills of the least experienced member in the group. Equipment •All kayakers must have lifejackets. •Helmets are highly recommended. Always wear a helmet when below cliffs and in sea caves. •VHF radio, tow line, compass, throw bag, first aid kit. Carry these items with you and know how to use them. •Extreme weather conditions may be encountered at any time. Sea conditions may become dangerous without warning. •Wetsuits are highly recommended. Water temperatures remain cold throughout the year (55 to 70 degrees). Wear a wetsuit. •Wind and waves typically come out of the northwest or west and increase in the afternoon. Morning hours can be a better time for waterports. Santa Ana or east winds may occur at anytime, but are most common September - April. •Establish a plan. Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. •Do not travel down wind (with the wind) as you will have to return into a headwind. If you find yourself unable to get back to Scorpion, there are two small beach haul outs at Little Scorpion. •Ocean currents outside of coves and protected beach areas can be strong and extremely dangerous. Skills •Do not exceed your skill level. If you are new to sea kayaking or other watersports, it is recommended that you go with a guide service. Stay close to Scorpion Anchorage. Ask NPS personnel or kayak guides if you have questions concerning weather, safety, regulations, or destinations. •Be capable of re-entering your kayak from the water. EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA •Post the dive flag at end of pier when swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Do not attempt to enter or exit the water from the pier when boats are in the pier area. Sea Caves •Sea caves are dangerous. Even on calm days, the wake from large ships in the channel can pose a danger in caves. •Use extreme caution. Always observe and evaluate sea conditions before entering any sea cave. •It is illegal and unsafe to exit your kayak while in the sea caves. Emergency Procedures •Contact a ranger, nearby boat, US Coast Guard (VHF 16), or call 911. For more information, read the detailed procedures listed on the island bulletin boards. April - November April - August February - July March - August March - August March - August March - August on (Caves, cliffs, and offshore rocks throughout Santa Cruz Island.) nd ern pa tt rvic Cavern Point Trailhead Se n Po er . Loo e d Ashy Storm-petrels Black oystercatchers Cassin’s aucklets Cormorants Pigeon guillemots Western gulls Xantus’s murrelets Scorpion Ca ny wi Cavern Point st we p m u g Nesting Seabirds North r R oad Scorpion Can yon o H arbo ort hw es t, R Potato Harbor Potat f Trail Bat Cave (CLOSED) (Refer to the National Marine Sanctuary's Protecting Your Channel Islands brochure for more information) No commercial or recreational fishing. gn ev ail in Ca v S c orp io n S t ate M ar i ne Re s er ve uf Bl in t oa l e Pr S r s o a d g R rail op T o L Little Scorpion Anchorage Scorpion Rock East (Santa Ana) wind pattern. (May occur at anytime, but most common Sept. - April.) N 0 .5 mi Please avoid disturbing sensitive pinniped and seabird areas found throughout the island. Closed Sea Cave Bat Cave and caves #3 and #4 within the Cavern Point Cove Cave complex are closed year-round. (May land and hike cross-country back to Scorpion Anchorage from these beaches in case of an emergency.) Safety Haul-out Beaches Pier (34 02.933 N, 119 33.382 W) Scorpion Anchorage Cavern Point Cove Caves #3 & #4 (CLOSED)

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