The trip to Bechers Bay from the Ventura Harbor takes approximately two hours if the boat takes the northerly route, two hours and 15 minutes via the smoother and preferred southern route. If the boat is stopping at Scorpion Anchorage, or Prisoners Harbor, Santa Cruz Island, you can add an additional 30 minutes to the crossing. The preferred route takes a track along the south side on Santa Cruz Island because waters are usually much calmer there. But the channel between Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa can be rough.
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During the crossing there is a good chance to see dolphins. Blue and Humpback whales may be spotted during the summer months. One of the worlds largest sea caves, Painted Cave, is near the return route to Ventura. If the weather permits the boat will stop there briefly for viewing.
The landing at Santa Rosa is via a pier at Bechers Bay. Passengers will step from the boat to a landing and then climb a short flight of stairs to the top of the pier.
At 84 square miles, Santa Rosa is the second largest of the eight Channel Islands. There are two relatively high mountains on the island; Black Mountain, 1298 ft (396 m); and Soledad Peak 1574 ft (480 m).
However, most of the island is covered by rolling hills. Steep and dramatic canyons, such as Lobo or Water Canyon, cut through the hills and open up to beautiful white sand beaches. Many miles of trails and roads are available for hiking exploration.
Santa Rosa lies just beyond Point Conception, so the weather is more like the Big Sur Coast than that of Southern California. Visitors should be prepared for cool and foggy days even in the summer and strong winds are common year round.