Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:30-5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table in the hotel lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: 5:30 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures including contact numbers for key staff, and answer any questions you may have. For our farewell dinner on the last night of the program, we ask you to pre-order your preferred entrée. Please see the “Questionnaire” for details. Scheduled free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy a plated dinner that will include salad, entrée, side dish, and dessert, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: Get to know more about your fellow participants in a session we call Crossing Points and discover what you share beyond a love of lifelong learning. Then settle in and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.
Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile on sidewalks and sandy beach. Dress in layers and wear appropriate shoes for walking in the sand. If you are interested in exploring the tide pools, be advised the rocks can be slippery and your feet may get wet.
Breakfast: At the hotel, choose from a buffet featuring an assortment of hot and cold breakfast items, plus juices, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: From the hotel, we will walk to the Ventura train station for the brief but beautiful journey up the coastline to Carpinteria. The Chumash tribe named this area “Carpinteria” because there was a large canoe building operation there. The natural tar seeps found along the beach were important to seal the boats for their seagoing livelihood. Meet our instructor in our outdoor classroom where we will dive into the life of Karana from "Island of the Blue Dolphins." Imagine what it was like to live alone on an island just as the "Lone Woman" of San Nicholas Island did in the mid 1800's.
Lunch: At the beachside tables, we'll enjoy a picnic lunch catered by a local favorite restaurant.
Afternoon: Picture yourself as Karana discovering her island and take this opportunity for personal independent exploration. Hike along the Coastal Vista Trail to view the oozing Tar Pit Park or check out the activity at the Carpinteria Seal Preserve. Use caution on the rocks and make sure to leave the least impact on this beautiful resource. Marvel at the breathtaking coastline once again as we journey back to Ventura by train. Walk back to the hotel from the train platform.
Dinner: At the hotel.
Evening: We will gather this evening to learn some legends and stories passed down through the Chumash tribe for generations.
Activity note: Walking up to 1.5 miles on flat sidewalks.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: We’ll hop on our private motorcoach and journey from the hotel to the Channel Islands National Park Visitors Center; here you will have an opportunity to view the official video, "A Treasure in the Sea: Channel Islands". Channel Islands National Park and its 175 miles of pristine coastline are within 60 miles of 18 million people, yet it has fewer than 300,000 visitors a year — quite low for an American national park! Talk with park personnel, walk through the native plant garden, and view exhibits which highlight the natural and cultural features of the islands. You will have some time to browse and enjoy the scenic view from the tower before we depart and walk along the harbor.
Lunch: At a local restaurant along the harbor, enjoy a choice of entrée plus coffee, water, or tea.
Afternoon: At the beach we will test out the waves and learn from an experienced diver about watersport safety. Boogie boards are provided to play in the surf.
Dinner: At the hotel.
Evening: This evening we will learn about the vast array of wildlife that exists in our oceans. From playful dolphins to enormous whales, our marine expert shares stories and insight from decades of dives.
Activity note: The hotel pool is used for snorkeling class. Harbor kayaking may involve getting wet. Be sure to dress in layers and wear clothes that can get wet. Sea kayaks are available for single and double riders. Single riders must be at least 12 years old.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: In preparation for tomorrow's excursion, let's learn about Santa Cruz Island. In addition to learning about the island itself, you will gain important information for the boat ride to/from, hiking on and snorkeling within Santa Cruz Island. Channel Islands National Park is comprised of 5 of the 8 Channel Islands, each with a surrounding mile of aquatic environment and is home to more than 2,000 animal and plant species; nearly 150 are found nowhere else! The Lone Woman inhabited San Nicolas Island, which is now owned by the US Navy and unfortunately not open to the public. However, park-goers can experience the isolation and natural resources described in the book on the park's 5 islands. The Channel Islands are divided up into two groups; the Northern islands and the Southern islands. Historically, the Chumash people occupied the Northern islands while the Tongva lived on the Southern islands until the early 19th century. The Native American populations used canoes to freely travel between the islands and the mainland. After the island orientation, learn the basics of snorkeling from expert divers and be fitted for your wetsuit and gear. The class will be held in the hotel pool and will provide the necessary preparation for your snorkeling experience on Santa Cruz Island. This is a chance to become more comfortable with your snorkeling gear.
Lunch: At a local restaurant.
Afternoon: After lunch, take to the water again, but this time using a kayak. Learn from expert guides how to properly navigate a sea kayak as you explore the harbor waters. You can imagine how the Chumash tribe used their own version of the kayak, “the tomol”, for fishing and recreational sport. The tomol was powered with kayak-like paddles, but involved the rider to be in the crouching position instead of sitting down. As the world’s most popular self-propelled watercraft, kayaks are a great way to traverse waterways – they are used to explore rivers, lakes and oceans around the globe. Today’s kayaks, the most modern and technologically advanced, are very much like the kayaks made long ago. Even with advances in computer software, naval engineering and modern materials, the intuitive carpenters of centuries ago created a useful design that has stood the test of time.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.
Evening: Enjoy a musical performance and rest up for a big day tomorrow!
Activity note: Boat ride is approximately 1 hour. Arriving at the small pier on the island, participants step off the boat onto a ladder and climb down a few rungs to the landing. Due to cold water conditions (55° to 70° F), wetsuits (provided) are recommended for snorkeling. Walk up to 2 miles on uneven terrain with elevation change of up to 300 feet.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: Boarding the motorcoach, we will head to Harbor Village to embark the boat to Santa Cruz Island. Santa Cruz Island, about 25 miles off the mainland, is the largest of the Channel Islands. After decades of dedicated restoration and conservation, the Santa Cruz landscape of canyons, peaks, valleys, and 77 miles of coastline gives us an idea of what southern California was like centuries ago. Once we arrive, we will utilize our newly learned snorkeling skills with the expert guidance of our local island concessionaire. Discover the swaying kelp forests close to shore and be on the look out for marine life and any island residents!
Lunch: Bag lunch on Santa Cruz Island includes sandwich, chips, cookie, and bottled water. Our lunches are packed so that all trash can fit in a pocket to avoid littering because there are limited trash cans on the island.
Afternoon: In the afternoon you will have the option to continue snorkeling or to explore the visitor center and hiking trails with our lead naturalist. The boat returns to the mainland at approximately 6:00 p.m. After returning to the hotel via motorcoach, you will have time to freshen up and relax before dinner.
Dinner: At the hotel. Our farewell dinner features the entrées we selected previously. (See “Questionnaire” form for details.)
Evening: Evening wrap-up with grandparents and grandchildren. We will share our favorite experiences and how they relate to "Island of the Blue Dolphins"!
Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: Commemorate the program with an authentic hand-made creation. This concludes the program. We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and we look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!