... book by TC Boyle, about my home town, and the islands that parallel. About 10 miles from the Santa Barbara Harbor are the Northern Channel Islands, including Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel.
When the Killing's Done is taking me home, and I love being able to picture exactly the setting, the smells, and sights that Boyle is describing, because they're ingrained in me; my story. This narrative includes history of the islands, land use, and cronicles the native and invasive animals to the islands, but what TC Boyle does with such talent is create a story with characters that move you to care about these issues. I lived in SB for 26 years, and those islands were just something off in the distance. It was great to notice they were there, but more in reference to how clear the day was, due to the ever-present fog that hovers off the coast almost every morning of the year. No one made me care about them so much until now.
I'm sad to say I've never set foot on the islands. It's not from lack of trying. Last summer Seth captained a borrowed boat across the channel to Santa Cruz Island. A lovely, fair enough day, and we reveled at our good fortune to be on a boat in the Pacific, eating our store-bought picnic of sandwiches and fruit. Once we got to the island we didn't see anything but rock, meeting the sea. So, how to get on the island? There were no docks that we could see, should we anchor and swim? But we couldn't leave the boat, as the current was too strong. And there were dead sea lions in the water, leaving me to think that sharks were near. So, we hung out 10 yards from shore, and kept daring each other to swim to shore. But we didn't, and decided to turn back. The ride back was suddenly not the calm sea jaunt we had experienced on the way there. An incredible swell created huge waves that we rode, and crashed down the other side, one after the other, nonstop for an hour, leaving us sick, scared and unsure we would actually make it back. We hung on to the rails for dear life, desperate to return to the harbor. It was all we could do to hold on, not panic, and make sure the kids were safe. Until this: http://youtu.be/nGuqEcvIWws Above filmed by Seth's brother, who risked his life to take one hand off the boat to film. Seeing the dolphin pod, as they rode our wake, and jumped and played around us, changed the mood to one of huge relief. It reassured us - we knew that they were there to lead us home safely. So, I may not be booking a flight to Santa Barbara this winter, but with this book by TC Boyle, I can somehow get home just as well.