Saturday, April 17, 2010

The mighty mammals elude us on our whale-watching voyage...

On Friday we took a trip up the coast to Ventura Harbour and jumped on a boat tour out into the Pacific Ocean to look for whales, but sadly they eluded us the whole afternoon.
Ventura Harbour California
Even though the mighty mammals themselves managed to hide from us, after all it is the end of the grey whale migration season, we did see lots of other local marine life like dolphins (although I only managed to capture the top of its fin on camera), sea-lions, pelicans and cormorants.
Dolphin fin Pacific Ocean
Pelican flight over Pacific Ocean
Pelican swooping over Pacific Ocean
Pelican and cormorant over Pacific Ocean
Here are a few photos of the pelicans swooping down over the ocean and of the sea-lions laying on their back so they can warm their fins in the sun, out of the freezing cold Pacific.
Sunbathing sea-lions in the Pacific OceanSea-lions basking in the sun
Sea lion face above waves
It was a glorious day out on the ocean and we didn't mind being a bit windswept at all, as we didn't ever get to go out on a boat in the glorious sunshine in April in the U.K.
Anacapa Island Channel Islands
Anacapa Island Light Station
After a couple of hours cruising down along the coast of Ventura County, our skipper turned the boat around and headed full steam to Anacapa Island, a part of the Channel Islands National Park, so that we could get a closer glimpse at some other ocean dwelling mammals.
Sea lion shore Anacapa Island
Anacapa Island sea lions
Sea lion shore Anapaca
On the shores and rocks of Anacapa Island we spotted hundreds of sea-lions basking in the sunshine to soak up the warmth of the suns rays.
Sea lion kiss
Sea lions at Anacapa Island
Apparently there are around 200,000 of them living there.
Anacapa Island rocks sea-lions
Sea-lions on Anacapa Island rocks
The island of volcanic rock is surrounded by kelp reefs so it's the perfect place for them to be safe from predators, feed and frolic in the ocean.
Anacapa Island rocks sea-lions
Anacapa Island sea-lions
It's always great to see animals in their natural habitat rather than in a zoo, aquarium or somewhere like Sea World, which I'm slightly troubled by after seeing The Cove documentary.
Anacapa Island cliff face
Anacapa Island cliffs
Even though we didn't spot any whales this trip, there's always next time and in the summer there's also a chance to catch blue and humpback whales in the Channel Islands.
Anacapa Island rock arch
Next on our list of places to visit include Catalina Island, a return to wine county, down the coast to San Diego and maybe a trip to Hawaii whilst we're so close.
Anacapa National Park
Cooper fans don't despair though, we'll be trying to take our lovable Labrador with us whenever and wherever possible, but you needn't be concerned as he had a 'whale of a time' at doggy daycare yesterday and was exhausted from hours of playing with all his pals.
Anacapa Island cruise
He's also had an outing to meet new friends at a BBQ in Roxbury Park in Beverly Hills today, so he doesn't do too bad.

Until our next adventure...

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