ECS Santa Rosa Island field trip

Lens: educational, community, spiritual

I had the opportunity to visit the Santa Rosa Island and stay at CI’s research station for one of my early childhood studies classes. Apparently we were the last group to visit for the season until it opens back up in the Spring. It was such a cool worthwhile experience! We stayed for 3 days (2 nights), spent the time doing group activities, playing games, hiking, visiting the beach, stargazing, and exploring the historic buildings.

The trip started with us meeting at Ventura Harbor at 7am, with Island Packers as our boat ride to the island. Our group had about 30 people, and there were also groups of campers on the boat ride. I have taken a boat to Santa Cruz once in high school but didn’t remember it too much; so I was excited for this ride. The ride took about two hours and was bumpy at times. My favorite part was standing outside on the front end of the boat and watching all the waves and deep blue waters pass us by! 

My favorite part of the trip was stargazing on the pier and seeing a shooting star. It was amazing to see so many stars twinkling, especially since you can’t normally see that here in Ventura County. With a group of classmates, we sat on the pier quietly looking up at the stars while listening to the ocean waves. 

Another memorable moment was the hike I did on the second day of the trip. This hike wasn’t as challenging as the first one, so I was able to be more relaxed. We hiked in silence and spaced out from one another until we reached the top of the peak. It was amazing being able to see the rest of the island, the ocean, and Santa Cruz Island. What I liked most about the hike was being able to reach the end, pushing myself along the way. It was very self-motivating.

The main take-away from the field trip was building community with our peers, which I thought our group did well. Everyone was respectful of each other and the rules of the island. We all collaborated together to cook meals and clean up, engaged in the different games and activities our teachers led, and got to know each other better. 

The boat ride back was a lot smoother, and we stopped by Santa Cruz to look at a cave. We also saw dolphins and a whale on the way back! By the end of the trip I was ready to be home in my own bed; but I felt so lucky to have had this opportunity to visit and stay at the research station. I think it’s cool that it can be used by different majors, and I would suggest that anyone who has the chance to experience it, do it!