God’s Island Orchestra
Off the coast of southern California, God created the eight California Channel Islands. In 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt signed a proclamation designating two of these, Anacapa Island and Santa Barbara Island, as Channel Islands National Monument. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed legislation that proclaimed those two islands, plus Santa Rosa Island, Santa Cruz Island, and San Miguel Island, to be Channel Islands National Park. The U.S. military controls San Clemente Island and San Nicholas Island. Santa Catalina Island is the home of the Santa Catalina Conservancy.
I learned about the California Channel Islands while writing the “God Created America’s Islands” lesson in America the Beautiful. On Saturday Ray and I, along with our co-worker Donna, visited Channel Island National Park. We began at the Visitor Center on the coast of California in Ventura. Ray and I try to include at least two activities when we go to a national park. We watch the movie at the Visitor Center, and we get our old, ratty National Park Passport stamped.
The native plant landscaping in front of the visitor center is fascinating to this temperate forest girl, . . .
. . . as are the boats in the harbor behind the Visitor Center.
After visiting there, we walked along the Ventura Harbor where fishermen were cleaning up from their morning catch.
We put on our scuba gear. . .
. . . and boarded the Vanguard.
Ray and I had grabbed some Kind® bars for our trip, just in case our three-hour cruise ended up like the one Gilligan, the Skipper, the millionaire and his wife, the movie star, the professor, and Mary Ann’s did. (That’s a joke. If you don’t get it, ask a Baby Boomer. I’m a Baby Boomer, so you can ask me!)
Our boat went slowly out of the harbor and then raced past sailboats . . .
. . . toward Anacapa Island.
For a few minutes, a dozen or so common dolphins sped along beside us. Some leaped in and out of the water to one side of the boat, . . .
. . . while others raced under the ship’s bow.
They seemed to be having as much fun as a pack of playful dogs yipping alongside a car. When we came close to the island, we saw its colossal Arch Rock and its several peaks.
God directed the island orchestra. Waves splashed. Kelp forests swayed beneath the surface. Cormorants clustered on rocks.
Western gulls glided in the sky and landed on other rocks.
Sea lions sunned.
It was a joy to see and hear His beautiful performance.
Sing to the Lord a new song,
Sing His praise from the end of the earth!
You who go down to the sea,
and all that is in it.
You islands, and those who dwell on them.
What an amazing trip. We are so blessed as God’s greatest creation with all the other creation He made for our pleasure. Thank you for bringing us along on each trip you make–whether work related or just sharing the fields, roads, and views from your window back in TN.
On a side note–love the wet suits and very unique surf board!