Santa Cruz Island - Thanks Ernie!

 
After last week's trip to Santa Cruz Island, we all owe a huge thanks to Ernie. Not only did he make all the reservations and get us all into the right place at the right time (read: very early), he even managed to have about a hundred dolphins show up just at the right moment to accompany our boat for part of the ride over.
 
The trip was great, for those Trail Runners Club members who couldn't make it or who have considered going in the past but have never made it. Next year, Go!! It is a great day from start to finish. The boat ride over was chilly, but comfortable, with no visible signs of seasickness among our group. The dolphins were awesome, surfing in the wake of the waves and chasing and jumping alongside the side rails of the boat. And somewhere in there, the clouds and fog went away and left a perfect partly sunny, breezy day for our run across a stretch of the island to Smuggler's Cove. I always think Smuggler's Cove is a fitting name when I arrive there on this run; there are boats anchored out in the ocean, and almost no one on the beach, and the boats look like they're hidden from the rest of the world.
 
Aside from all the natural beauty and wonder there is to see on this trip, perhaps the best reason to shell out the money and get yourself up and to Ventura Harbor for the trip next year is Ernie's now famous lunch. He doesn't skip a single detail and serves a lunch worthy of a place on the menu at the best gourmet sandwich shops. And this year, he also brought us a special dessert. If you want to know what it was, you'll have to go next year.
 
Thanks, Ernie, for measuring out all those turkey portions for our sandwiches and making us all lunch, and for packing all that food, for getting us all inspired to go, for herding all of us cats onto the boat, for typing out all those emails, and for making the whole trip happen! It was excellent, and I can't wait for next year!