The steely sea crashes into Anacapa Island, where gulls, pelicans and cormorants cling to precipitous crap-stained cliffs of volcanic rock, creating a cacophony of calls that rivals the surf. There are dripping caves, islets where California sea lions languidly laze and the impossible-looking 12-metre tall Arch Rock. Beneath the surface, fish dart, kelp forests sway and curious sea lions steal fleeting peeks.
“It’s wilderness, wild and raw,” Dawn Brooks says during my six-night camper-van road trip along California’s Central Coast from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Right now, I’m kayaking in Channel Islands National Park and Brooks is my guide.