Liveaboard Camp Highlights
5 days/ 5 nights aboard the TRUTH at the Channel Islands National Park
- Hike at Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands
- Play on the sand dunes, swim in the ocean.
- Kayak and snorkeling activities each day (weather provided).
- Individual Bunks with separate quarters for boys and girls.
- Professionally trained ocean educators, naturalists, and guides.
- Astronomy program under the clear night island sky.
- Ecology based learning throughout the 5 days.
- Divemaster & lifeguards on deck for diving/snorkeling
- All gear is included! (kayaks, surfboards, snorkel /mask and fins)
- A wetsuit is provided for each camper
- Healthy meals served each day. (lunch is served on departure and return days)
The only liveaboard summer camp on the West coast at the US and the Channel Islands National Park. This micro version of a semester at sea is the perfect amount of adventure and learning to foster adoration of the marine environment for a lifetime. Our ecology based program is fluid and follows the weather allowing the group to explore by land, kayak, and underwater with mask and snorkel. We provide all of the gear, food, accommodations, and highly experienced counsellors. Lead by the company owners who have more than 20 years of leadership experience specifically at the Channel Islands and Southern California, the group is in good hands. This is a co-ed experience for kids aged 11-17. All campers will participate in a swim test on day 1 and will be required to wear life jackets and/or wetsuits depending on their performance in the swim test. If you are searching for a great way to keep your kid/s away from screens for their summer break, this is it!
5 Days of Ocean Exploration, learning, and adventure.
This Liveaboard camp is an extension of our 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!
Santa Barbara Airport Sunday Arrivals
- Board anytime after 3pm, counselors will meet campers at Santa Barbara Landing via private ground transportation (not arranged by Ocean Explorers)
- Call for another private ride service and have your camper picked up from Santa Barbara Landing and brought to Santa Barbara Airport on Friday after 3pm.
Your Expedition Vessel – Truth
- 49 Passenger United States Coast Guard Inspected Vessel
- Zero deficiencies during 2022 Coast Guard inspection
- Multi-level integrated fire detection and alarm system
- Equipped with kayaks, paddleboards, surfboards, and unicorns 🙂
- All islands in the Channel Islands National Park
- Kayaking, surfing, snorkeling, and island treks.
- Experiential Learning: island ecology, marine biology, geography, geology, resource conservation, seamanship.
Camp Age and Swimming Policies
- Experience Level: Previous swimming experience needed
- Minimum Age: 11 years old
- Maximum Age: 17 years old
- Check In: 6:00 PM on Sunday evening
- Duration: 5 full days and 5 nights onboard
- Return to Santa Barbara Harbor: at 3:00 PM on Friday
Week 1: June 23 – June 28
Week 2: July 7 – July 12
Week 3: July 14 – July 19
Week 4: July 28 – Aug 2
Week 5: Aug 4- Aug 9
Santa Barbara Landing – Santa Barbara Harbor
301 West Cabrillo Blvd
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Learning & Fun
- 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.
- 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.
Staff & Safety
We are maritime professionals and leaders, safety is always our priority.
Our lead counselors are Wilderness First Responders (WFR) certified.
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.
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.
Camp Dates & Destination
The Only Summer Camp in the Channel Islands National Park
Arrival & Boarding
- Airport arrivals can begin at 3pm on Sunday.
- Camper check in begins at 6 PM.
- Greeting, Name Game, Safety Orientation
- Dinner served
Arrival & Boarding
- Camper check in begins at 8 AM.
- Greeting, Name Game, Safety Orientation
- Departure for Channel Islands National Park
Arrive at Santa Rosa Island and enjoy lunch in Bechers Bay.
- Nature hike
- Surfing / boogie boarding
- Dune Boarding and beach play
- Evening: Uno tournament
- Kayaking: Group will paddle by one of the world’s largest elephant seal rookeries and see these amazing pinnipeds up close
- Hike on San Miguel Island to the ranger station, meet with a Ranger. Possible service project.
- Dune Boarding – riding down giant sand dunes on boogie boards
- Beach games
- Evening: Movie about Marine Protected Areas with Sylvia Earle
- Kayaking: Explore sea caves, kelp forests, and rocky shores. Visit Painted Cave – one of the largest Sea Caves in the world
- Snorkeling, swimming / ocean play: we set up our inflatable unicorn, rafts and other fun ocean toys!
- Kelp Printing – campers learn about the kelp forest and make ink prints of pieces of kelp
- Knots and Hitches
- Evening: Puzzles and Games
- Sea Cave Kayaking.
- Kelp Forest Snorkeling – we visit the marine sanctuary at Anacapa which is full of sea life!
- Group Art project
- Fishing and whale watching.
- Evening Astronomy
- Hike at Prisoner’s Harbor
- Service project
- Group reflection
- Whale Watching
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Campers must be at least 11 years old. We ask that they are no older than 17 years old.
YES! There is no way around this. Previous swimming experience is required.
For the most part, our vessels will be outside of cell service during the week long camp, however our vessels are linked up with Starlink satellite internet service, which means we as staff are in service at all times. You will be given the cell phone contact of the lead counselor who will be able to respond immediately to any emergency contact requests.