Well, I really need to do this again! That was my thinking when our helicopter was gently touching down after an exhilarating, picturesque 30 minute excursion to the Channel Islands. I was looking to try something new on my vacation to California, and had never been on a helicopter ride.
I thought the expense would be something beyond my budget. But, thanks to an ad I saw for 50% off on the Ventura County Now website, it was VERY affordable. My friend and I split the $150, and were rewarded with an unforgettable experience! First of all, the owner, Josh, and his team were friendly and accommodating. Alex was our knowledgeable pilot, and he was a great tour guide. We were undecided about what we wanted to check out from the unique view once we donned our headsets and lifted off in flight. So, we took Alex's advice and headed out to Anacapa Island.
The coastline looked spectacular from our vantage point, the clear day affording us a view of the beach that went on for miles, to the distant hills and mountains behind Oxnard. But that was only about the first five minutes of our trip!
Keeping a lookout for sea creatures large and small, we headed to our destination. I saw a sea lion dipping up and down searching for food, but was more excited to see the islands, (Anacapa Island is actually made up of THREE islands), as they were primitive and relatively uninhabited. I could imagine the native Chumash Indians making this their home long ago while fishing and hunting to survive in this beautiful spot. Alex pointed out the landmark Arch Rock, and I got postcard quality pictures on my cell phone!
I plan to enlarge some and display them when I get home. We also saw the lighthouse, several openings of interconnected caves that Alex explained kayakers enjoy, and other Channel Islands in the distance. We flew around the entire island, taking pictures and video non-stop.
It didn't feel like we were moving the 120 mph Alex said we were traveling, until he went into a sharp banked turn and dipped closer to the Pacific Ocean. Then we knew we were! We saw a massive sailboat, all the passengers and crew giving us a friendly wave as we circled above them. Then we started back to the heli-pad. I took more pictures, and just spent the rest of the trip back admiring my surroundings. We touched down softly, and waited for the aircraft to cool down and overhead rotors to stop before hopping off. That was when I came to the obvious conclusion; I REALLY need to do this again! Thanks for an unforgettable experience, Channel Islands Helicopters. I have the pictures to prove it.
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