Anacapa Island, one of California's Channel Islands, is located 14 miles off the coast from Ventura. From the ocean, Huell finds that ocean waves have eroded the perimeter of the island, creating steep sea cliffs towering hundreds of feet in height and exposing the volcanic origins of air pockets, lava tubes, and sea caves. Once on land, he learns that the largest breeding colony of the endangered California brown pelican is located on West Anacapa.
Other sea birds include western gulls and several species of cormorants. The island' s rocky shores provide resting and breeding areas for California sea lions and harbor seals. Springtime brings colorful flowers, including the strange tree sunflower, or coreopsis, a plant found only on the Channel Islands and a few isolated areas on the mainland.