Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wednesday Search Challenge (Mar 2, 2011): What islands are these? How big are they?

I grew up in Los Angeles, California, where there are a set of magical islands just offshore.  One of them has a real city on it, while the others are nature preserves or quietly reseting in the sun.  One is a Naval bombing range (perhaps not quietly resting), and another is the epitome of a desert isle.  

Today's Search Challenge isn't too hard (we have to mix it up a bit), but more fun that difficult!  

What is the name of each island? 

Which of them is the largest (in area)?  

(This image is taken from Google Maps, but I've removed the name/place information about the islands.  You'll have to figure out what they're called by yourself.)  

For extra credit, this passage is from a book about one of those islands.  

What book is this passage from, and which island is it about?  

"I watch the island grow and acquire dimension as the sun rises; the ambers and rusts take on a glow when the first light strikes its highest peaks.  I've witnessed this same scene many times, waiting on a boat for enough sun to make out fish shapes in the early underwater light.  The memory rekindles that excitement and my unanswerable doubts vanish with the dawn."   

Search on!


  1. No problems with the first two questions. Google maps gave me very fast a couple of names: Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara. A search in Google with these names brought me to a Wikipedia page on the Channel Islands of California

    The names of the islands are: Anacapa, San Miguel, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa (the northern islands) and San Clemente, San Nicolas, Santa Barbara, Santa Catalina (the southern islands).

    The largest island is Santa Cruz: 249.95 km2

    No answer on the book passage.

  2. I knew that one of them was Santa Cruz Island, so quickly got the Channel Islands info as Hans did.

    The quote is found on page 5 of The last of the blue water hunters by Carlos Eyles, found using Google book search on a randomly selected part of the quote "island grow and acquire dimension as the sun rises"

  3. If you do an exact search (using quotes) on Google Books for part of the passage, like ["The memory rekindles that excitement and my unanswerable doubts"] you get "The last of the blue water hunters" as the only result. Google Books isn't able to show more than a snippet of text from this book, so I looked it up on Amazon, which has the "Look inside" feature. I searched for the same passage, and then went to the beginning of the chapter which explains that they are headed to Santa Catalina. I checked my work by reading on to see that they anchor at a cove called "Doctor's Cove," searching for ["doctor's cove" catalina island], and reading this article: