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Ocean Explorers - Camp Calypso

Liveaboard Summer Camp from Santa Barbara Landing
5 days/ 4 nights Adventure and Science

What's Included

  • Individual Bunks with separate quarters for boys and girls.
  • Professionally trained ocean educators, naturalists, and guides
  • Divemaster & lifeguards on deck for diving/snorkeling
  • All gear is included! (kayaks, surfboards, snorkel /mask and fins)
  • A 4/3 wetsuit is provided for each camper
  • 3 Meals a day served on board by our professional chef (this includes breakfast on the departure day and lunch on the arrival day)

Select your trip dates

Select your trip dates

What's Included

  • Individual Bunks with separate quarters for boys and girls.
  • Professionally trained ocean educators, naturalists, and guides
  • Divemaster & lifeguards on deck for diving/snorkeling
  • All gear is included! (kayaks, surfboards, snorkel /mask and fins)
  • A 4/3 wetsuit is provided for each camper
  • 3 Meals a day served on board by our professional chef (this includes breakfast on the departure day and lunch on the arrival day)

Camp Brief

5 Days of Ocean Exploration, learning, and adventure.

Camp Calypso is an extension of the Ocean Explorers day camp that our partners at the Paddle Sports Center have been running for over a decade. This camp takes place on our custom-built expedition vessels, giving campers an unforgettable liveaboard experience! 

kids learning on the swim deck of the Truth

Location Information

  • Departure Harbor: Santa Barbara Harbor, Santa Barbara Landing
  • Destinations: 
    • All islands in the Channel Islands National Park
  • Activities: kayaking, surfing, snorkeling, and island treks.
  • Experiential Learning: island ecology, marine biology, geography, geology, resource conservation, seamanship.
Guides keep everyone safe.

Important Times

  • Check In: 7:30 am on Monday morning
  • Duration: 5 full days and 4 nights onboard
  • Return to Santa Barbara Harbor: at 3:00 pm on the fifth day
Diver petting a harbor seal

Trip Specific Information

  • Experience Level: Previous swimming experience needed
  • Minimum Age:  11 years old
  • Maximum Age: 17 years old

How do we calculate Camp Calypso price?

Ticket Costs

Learning & Fun

Adventure

  • Kayaking: Campers will begin each day with a kayak paddle. We will start off with easier paddles and build our skills throughout the week. Campers will team up with one another in tandem (two-person) kayaks.  
  • Snorkeling: Each day campers will have the chance to explore the underwater world and kelp forests of Channel Islands National Park. They will learn how to clear their mask and make dives below the water’s surface.
  • Nature Hikes: Throughout each session, campers will have the chance to visit some of the more remote and less trafficked islands within the Channel Islands for once-in-a-lifetime hiking opportunities. We will explore the caliche forest of San Miguel Island and visit the rare Torrey pines of Santa Rosa Island.

Science

  • Island Ecology: Campers will learn about the natural history and ecology of the Channel Islands. The islands are an incredible place to make inferences based on observation and gain a practical understanding of scientific methods. Campers will have the chance to use science to understand both the marine and terrestrial environments of California. 
  • Marine Biology:  Campers will have a chance to observe marine life at the islands firsthand, from kayaks and while snorkeling. Campers will learn about cetaceans, pinnipeds, kelp forests, and marine protected areas. 
  • Geography: We will share map reading techniques with campers and give them the chance to practice navigation with both modern methods and primitive wayfinding.
  • Geology: Ancient volcanic oceanic islands on the edge of the North American continent are the perfect place to build an enthusiastic interest in rocks and faults!
  • Astronomy: The night sky at the islands is less polluted by city lights. On clear nights we’ll learn about constellations, physics, and how mariners have used the stars to navigate for centuries.
  • Seamanship: Each camper will be taught the basic principles of Seamanship (this is the gender-neutral term to refer to maritime skills). This includes knot tying, nautical terminology, and chart plotting.

Staff & Safety

We are maritime professionals and leaders, safety is always our priority.

Each Crew Member and Counselor is trained and certified

  • Lifeguard or Divemaster
  • First aid and CPR for the professional rescuer
  • Ocean Risk Management Professionals (ORMP)
  • Background check and TB tested

Recent Upgrades – Our Vessels have recently undergone significant safety upgrades to improve escape means from the bunk rooms and detection of smoke and fire. These upgrades are beyond what the USCG requires of vessels our size.

Night Watch – Our crew conducts a roving night watch, inspecting every area of the vessel on 15-minute cycles. A crew member is assigned to night watch duty whenever campers are onboard.

Guide Experience – Our guides/counselors have decades of experience at the islands working with children of all ages.

Want to see for yourself? We invite all parents to visit us at the boats ahead of time by scheduling an appointment with us via email. 

Our kids camps are overnight liveaboard for 5 days at the Channel Islands.

Camp Dates & Destination

Camp Calypso: Channel Islands National Park

Islands We Visit: San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, Santa Barbara Island.

Cost: Was $1750/camper – NOW ONLY $1,600/camper

Sessions:

Week 1: July 11-15, 2022

Secure You Space Now

Camp Preperation

What to Pack for your camper?

Camp Calypso includes multiple sports and activities over the 5-day trip – you’ll want to plan accordingly for the activities that you’ll be participating in. We suggest bringing the following items, for each activity.

Kayaking Gear

  • Kayak clothing – bathing suits and sun tops. Your camper will be given a Farmer John style wetsuit (like overalls).

Hiking Gear

  • Small daypack – 25-35 liters
  • Appropriate trail footwear
  • 2 Towels
  • Dry bags for San Miguel and Santa Rosa beach landings
  • Reusable water bottle 1 liter or more
  • Waterproof Camera

General items

  • Sleeping bag or additional blanket – the bunkroom is air-conditioned, we recommend bringing a sleeping bag or extra blanket
  • Personal medications and motion sickness medication
  • Personal toiletries
  • Sunglasses, hat, and other sun protection
  • Sunscreen-must be reef-safe sunscreen. 

What to leave behind:

  • Tablets and handheld games
  • Batteries
  • Snacks and drinks (we have plenty)

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the bunk room arranged?

Each half of the vessel bunk room is sectioned off, one half for boys, and other half for girls. There is a counselor/guide of the same gender on each respective side.

What is the Age Limit?

Campers must be at least 13 years old. We ask that they are no older than 17 years old.

Does my kid have to know how to swim?

YES! There is no way around this. Previous swimming experience is required. 

Are you associated with the City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department?

Yes, we are partnered with the City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation department.

Will I be able to contact my child during the course of their camp?

For the most part, our vessels will be outside of cell service during the week long camp. When we are on the north side of the islands, we tend to receive a weak signal at various areas. If you have an emergency while we are at sea, you can contact our office and we will contact the vessel via satellite phone.

Testimonials

tanner
Ocean Explorers’ Camp Calypso Summer Camp
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

1st Sea Kayaking Experience

Amazing experience led by Garrett and his team to the Channel Islands. I had travelled from Hawaiʻi for this 4 day adventure. I'm not a diver (they had a ton of opportunities for them) but was able to free-dive and go kayaking. I had never kayaking on the ocean like this but felt incredibly confident with the instruction from the guides and crew. Incredibly competent and friendly, the trip felt completely about the participant experience. Kayaking around and seeing all the Harbor & Elephant seals and sea lions was an amazing experience. Their knowledge on the water, the wildlife, and especially the history of the place made for an experience I've been recommending to friends since the trip. Great grub too!
5/5stars

- | Google

mark r
Ocean Explorers’ Camp Calypso Summer Camp
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

Kayaking Channel Islands

Did this with my wife and 4 of our friends. Drove up from the IE , 2 hour drive, well worth it! What a great crew! Very knowledgeable about the island and surrounding area. Going in and out of the caves was awesome, though challenging at times but that made it even more enjoyable. If you are considering this trip, DO IT! We WILL do it again.
5/5stars

- | Yelp

david c
Ocean Explorers’ Camp Calypso Summer Camp
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

Anacapa Caves

Great outfit. Very professional guides, safety and COVID conscious. I went on a trip to Anacapa Island in mid-November. The cruise out was pretty quick. The wildlife on the way was excellent. The caves and rocks on Anacapa were wonderful to play in. I will return again when the Gray Whales begin to head back up the coast. I highly recommend them.
5/5stars

- | Yelp

Chuyên L.
Ocean Explorers’ Camp Calypso Summer Camp
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

Channel Island National Park

Channel Island National Park so amazing and beautiful places. And The Wild Blue Adventurer was professional. We loved it . Thanks You so Mụch for get we the nice trip .
5/5stars

- | Yelp

john s
Ocean Explorers’ Camp Calypso Summer Camp
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

Father and Son day

I had an epic day with my son in late July 2020. Our guide Phil was a UCSB grad, marine biologist who was in area, as his normal guiding in Antarctica was limited due to Covid. The boat staff was knowledgeable, friendly and worked hard to make our day both enjoyable and safe. Only 8 people on a boat that can hold 30-40 and they were very Covid compliant. Masks in the boat at all times (except lunch - bring your own food) and outdoor seating but could take off masks in the double kayaks. Really easy and felt safe and compliant. 10 out of 10 and I'm a tough critic.
5/5stars

- | Yelp

yelp
Ocean Explorers’ Camp Calypso Summer Camp
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

5 Night Liveaboard Trip

Recently went on a 5 night, 6 day liveaboard trip off the Truth. The crew and captains were all very nice and welcoming. The boat has great safety protocols to ensure us divers were safe throughout the entirety of this trip. Chef Tim was fantastic! I have never had better quality food on a boat trip, and he has definitely set the bar high. We had amazing homemade dishes almost every meal, he had vegetarian and vegan options as well. I would 100% recommend this boat to anyone interested in planning a multi-day dive trip to the Channel Islands.

5/5stars

- | Yelp

jelly fish
Ocean Explorers’ Camp Calypso Summer Camp
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

Kayaking Anacapa Arch

We had a wonderful time kayaking through the sea caves and Anacapa Arch.  All the on board staff were excellent.  We will definitely come back and do a different tour with them.

5/5stars

- | Yelp

go blue icon
Ocean Explorers’ Camp Calypso Summer Camp
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

Great Family Day Adventure

We had the BEST first time kayaking experience with Blue Ocean. Garret and his crew are great! The Anacapa tour is something special... we all loved it! It was a perfect day for our family. We highly recommend!
5/5stars

- | TripAdvisor

go blue icon
Ocean Explorers’ Camp Calypso Summer Camp
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

Another great day kayaking with Blue Ocean

We had a great day at Anacapa with Garrett, Jordan and the rest of the crew. We paddled for about 3 hours but it is not too strenuous, so if you are wondering if you can do it, you probably can! Thank you, Blue Ocean Crew!
5/5stars

- | TripAdvisor

go blue icon
Ocean Explorers’ Camp Calypso Summer Camp
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

HIGHLY RECOMMEND

LOVED IT! Truly an amazing experience that I will never forget. Awesome crew, wonderful day, all around great time. I hope to do it again some day!
5/5stars

- | TripAdvisor

go blue icon
Ocean Explorers’ Camp Calypso Summer Camp
Rated 4.9/5 based on 11 customer reviews

A great time!

Even though it was a foggy day, we had a great time. The boat crew was great and friendly. Garrett the guide was knowledgeable and friendly. He even saved a pelican-"Birdie Sanders" .
5/5stars

- | TripAdvisor