After dedicating seven years to helping novice mariners tame the local waters, SailTime Channel Islands' original owners hung up their sailing hats and bequeathed their company to Jon and Nicole Trautman. A devoted seafarer since age 10, Jon jumped at the chance to share his high-seas enthusiasm with others via sailing lessons aboard the company’s squadron of midsize, offshore cruising yachts. Now, along with obtaining their American Sailing Association certifications, trainees can learn the ropes of keelboating, coastal cruising, and nymph saddling before renting a 33- or 36-foot Hunter boat for their own nautical escapades. Members pay monthly rates for unlimited use of their vessel and can hoist anchor for all-day or overnight journeys. Those eager for a dinghy of their own can investigate SailTime Channel Islands' ownership plan, which ensures a vessel free of cannonball holes and mutinous crew members.
The instructors at Ventura Surf School know that there is nothing quite like riding the perfect wave. That's why they teach surf lessons for kids and adults, helping them learn to paddle, catch waves, and ride like a pro. Lessons are held at Mondos beach and an ideal spot for beginners. Above all else, the instructors are committed to safety—boasting a 100% safety record which keeps students feeling secure and Superman feeling bored without anyone to save.
Helmed by chief pilot Josh Jones, Channel Islands Helicopters soars over the sparkling Pacific during breathtaking tours around Channel Island National Park and Channel Island Marine Sanctuary. Guests load into a luxurious, bright-yellow steed of the sky, zipping out of Oxnard Airport and into the wide skyscape. Floating along a mountain-framed coastline, the sturdy chopper scrapes the clouds as guests peer into the waters below. Depending on the season, whales may frolic in the surf, carousing with sea lions or jubilant dolphin pods that leap out of the waters in hopes of catching a glimpse at the mythical creature known as the whirlybird. Clink glasses of champagne with a loved one or two friends to commemorate a magnificent midair adventure.
Though little known to humans outside of Ventura, Hook's Landing's sailors are notoriously feared in the sea world. That's due in large part to their successful fishing charters, on which they bag hundreds of rockfish, dozens of whitefish, and multiple lobsters with a crew of tour-goers.The charter's guests can keep any legal-size lobster, crab, and fish they find in their professional-grade hoop nets. Hook's Landing snaps memorable shots of the day's catches and encourages guests to cook their catch, instead of nailing it to a board and trying to make it sing.
Professional, award-winning surfers and lifeguards comprise the team of instructors that equips students with gear and sends them paddling into the ocean. To ensure safety and capitalize on ideal waves, the seasoned athletes check ocean conditions and Poseidon's mood before taking groups or individuals out to sea. As beginners become proficient at catching waves, the instructors level up their curriculum and teach intermediate or advanced feats. Islands Surf Camp stays active in its community by donating time and gear to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, SURF, and Echo Malibu.
The Ventura County Ballet Company ushers in the holiday season with a magical rendition of The Nutcracker, which is accompanied by the 52-piece Ventura College Symphony Orchestra, and features a star-filled cast of 115 local and international dancers. New staging and video effects sprinkle the classic production with modern flair, and a freshly installed snow scene dazzles crowds as characters pirouette through twinkling flurries and dance to Tchaikovsky's immortal score. Anchoring the cast, both Madeleine Riddle and Makenna Ortiz alternately slide into the slippers of Clara, Hawaii native Ryan Camou tackles the royal tights of The Prince, and California native and professional dancer, Season Winquest, captures the ethereal essence of "Dream Clara". To raise the curtains on a fantastical foot, an opening dance sequence spotlights local celebrities such as Bo Jaxon and Dedria Brunett, who was crowned Miss California International 2012.