Okay so we’re not at The Holler, but we’re not on a trip either…… not exactly. We’re just heading up to NoCal to rendezvoux with the kids. A family visit, not a trip. But, since we were driving…..we stopped at Channel Islands National Park to play with the Blue Whales, and dolphins and humpbacks. I kid you not. Next time you feel like going to Sea World to see some marine mammals. Don’t. Save money and save animals. Go see ’em in a protected national park, in their natural habitat. Here they play with you……by choice!
I have never been so up close and personal with blue whales. They were all over the Santa Barbara Channel today. Swimming upside down under our boat and spraying us with spouts. I’ll post more pics soon, and tomorrow we head out again to a different island!
You may have heard blue whales are big. The biggest creatures on the planet with tongues the size of African Elephants. But who knew they liked to play with people? The humpbacks were playing too, several of them. What a major thrill! This makes Sea World look like what it is, a bunch of concrete, chlorinated swimming pools full of captive cognizant cetaceans.
We also saw sleeping pods of sea lions.
And drowsy, daydreaming Pelicans. There were so many more incredible critters!
We spent all day on Anacapa Island, one of the five islands in Channel Islands National Park.
Anacapa is composed of three interconnected islets.
The islands are similar to the Galapgos in that evolution has proceeded independently of the continental US. As an odd aside, today we saw both Brown and Blue Footed Boobies, birds most frequently seen in the Galapagos and not normally present here. There are 145 plant and animal species found only on the Channel Islands and nowhere else in the world. Tomorrow we go in search of the Channel Island Foxes so please stay tuned. We have seen them before. They are small, one of a kind in the world, and very, very friendly. They have no human enemies. Imagine that!
The Channel Islands have painted caves, named by the colorful sea algae that make them look like Gauguin painted them!
Cheers to you from the very happy and very FREE sea life around Anacapa Island~
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184 thoughts on “Playing with Blue Whales~”
Fabulous! You find the most wonderful places to visit Cindy! Thanks for taking me along with you for the ride, but I must admit I was a bit nervous about the giant blue whales playing so hard they would turn the boat over! 🙂 I so enjoyed this story and really do wish I was there with you.
Blue whales are so intelligent and so majestic. I have only seen them a few times in my life and never this close. It was a thrill of a life time. If you want to see blue whales come here or the Sargasso Sea near the coast of Gibraltor. You would absolutely love the experience Dor! <3
Great pictures. I will have to make it a point to visit there next trip I take back. Thank you for sharing these.
You will be very glad you did. It is simply remarkable!
Thank you for sharing… You take very beautiful photos! ☺
Awwww, so motivating and encouraging! Thank you~
Gorgeous, Cindy! What a joy to be in such close proximity to those wonderful marine mammals!
Just incredibly thrilling. They are magnificent!
Awesome pictures. I am happy that you and your kids have had a good time with the blue whales. 🙂
Well thank you and cheers to you~
Awesome! I’ve always been fascinated with Blue Whales. Majestic creatures.
You should have seen them, belly up skimmng under the surface of our boat. So amazing!!!
Fantastic, Cindy! That was a big treat! Staying tuned for the next chapters. Thank you! 🙂
Oh so glad! Thank you-
Wow! Just wow! I wanna go there! Great photos as usual Cindy. Thank you for this lovely slice 🙂
Thank you more sweet Alison for your appreciation. You are a fellow traveler indeed! <3
These are amazing! 🙂 🙂
It is simply an amazing place! 🙂
When I was in Florida we were out on a boat near shell island off the coast of Panama City and I saw dolphins but never a whale. Wow and the sea lions are so cute! Beautiful photos and the water is so blue! I bet you were in awe!
Still am in awe and going back tomorrow. We were given such a beautiful planet! <3
Oh I totally agree with you and so many things I’ve never witnessed it is nice to see them through your eyes! 😀 <3
Wow for an amazing post Cindy 😀
I would love to join you there and I agree about the national parks. To see those animals in a protected park is so much more natural.
Awwww, so glad you share my feelings and cheers to you~
Are the Channel Islands near Catalina Island?
Yes, Catalina is the most developed and touristed of the Channel Islands, not a part of Channel Islands National Park, essentially because it was developed long ago, by Wrigley of Wrigley chewing gun~
I had no idea this existed in our Golden state. I REALLY need to get out more! Thanks, Cindy!
This park is definitely worth going out for! I hope you do and cheers to you~ <3
are beautiful photos my friend… <3
Mucha gusta mi amiga~
Marvelous, Cindy! 🙂
Thank you for sharing!
I’ve seen Sperm whales in front of the coast of the Lofots, but they do not play with boats. You only see them between their long divings, when they breathe for some minutes. It’s one of my goals to observe blue whales or humpbacks in very close distance. I’m really jealous… 😉 kind regards from Stefan
Well I hope you do so, I saw lots of Blue Whales as I left the Sargasso Se towards Gibraltor and here in the Santa Barbara Channel off Channel Islands National Park. I hope you do see them. What a thrill!
It looks- and sounds fantastic Cindy.Much better than any Sea World.
xxx Huge Hugs xxx
My sentiments preceisly! 🙂
What a place to visit… I do agree don’t go to the sea worlds of the world but rather try to see these mammals in their natural habitat…. Cindy I love your photos…
Nothing like observing wild animals free in their natural habitats! Thank you~
Amazing to see them in their habitat. Great photos!
So happy you enjoyed them!
Reblogged this on Spirit In Action and commented:
Wow! In California even the Pelicans have surfer hair;-) ( our brown pelicans don’t have that awesome day-glo yellow top knot 😉
Cetaceans are arguably the most intelligent beings on Earth so it’s not surprising that they are also the most playful and joyful. Like the ancient enlightened kung fu masters in the movies who are always laughing and playing jokes. I’m in complete awe of our dolphins-i can’t wait to meet those amazing whales. There’s a guy named Wade Doak I read his books years ago. He plays and records music with whales in Puget sound and other areas out there. I agree wholeheartedly with Cindy-amusement parks that enslave living beings for profit are sick. Those concrete pools are to them what being in a white room with no furniture where they never turn the lights off-for years-would be like for us. It’s more amazing that so many whales and dolphins in those horrible situations have been so very kind and gentle with their captors for so many years than that an abused whale like Tillikum snapped and became violent a few times.
I agree with everything you are saying my friend. You can smell the intense cholrine coming off the pools in Sea World. It is such an unnatural envirnonment. Cheers to you my friend and thank you too~
What a magnificent experience you all must have had, Cindy. Beautiful images.
Off today to see the Channel Island foxes. Fingers crossed……..
Fabulous photos, Cindy!
Thank you Cindy and cheers to you too.
Only to very best to you Ranu! <3
Absolutely fantastic set of photos! 🙂 K.
So happy you enjoyed and thank you!
I’ve seen the killer whales perform at the tourist attractions but nothing like this in real nature. Stunning shots !
You can also see pods and pods of orcas swimming free, spy hopping, playing with boats out of Telegraph Cove on Vancouver Island BC. Spectacular creatures in their own family pods!
That’s great! I never saw a blue whale. I did a whale watch this summer and we saw humpbacks and fin whales, but the blues usually don’t visit this part of the east coast. Anacapa Island looks and sounds marvelous.
The last time we were here we saw a Blue. I have seen Blues only three times in my life with a lot of time on the ocean! These were up close and personal! Fabulous~
GREAT BLOG! …and a great message to visit a national park. We’ve always wanted to visit the Channel Islands and your blog seals it: we definitely will. Beautiful photos.
Oh I couldn’t be happier and cannot wait to see your photos! 🙂
Thank you my friend and be well~
The whales are magnificent in this preserved environment. Am in awe that the boobies have made their presence. I love the Galapagos, so I can see why this park is so unique. Good luck with the fox.
On my way to find him now on Santa Cruz island!!! Cross your fingers~
Liebe Cindy, einfach nur toll, eine gute Woche, Klaus
Guten tag und Vielen dank! Freundschaft~
Beautiful pics! I just love going out on boats and seeing those whales!
Quite a thrill indeed!
It is sad that more people aren’t able to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. In doing so, I think we would all agree that being entertained by them in enclosed pools is not where they should be!
My husband & I had the opportunity to go whale watching when we were in Cape Breton. After spending a few moments trying to capture the perfect shot, I gave my head a shake & thought what I am doing? I need to just take in this experience & watch the incredible beauty right in front of me.
Yes! I had the same conflict. This is one situation where taking the pics did interfere a bit with just observing the whales!
Great post! Great photos! So true about the cruelty of capturing theses magnificent creatures. Do you think this trip would be possible in January when I’m next in California?
Absolutely, this is during the California Grey Whale migration. Check out the Channel Islands National Park website for all you need to know to plan your trip and you’ll see a link there to Island Packers, the boat company that takes you to the islands. You can see therir schedules and what animals you will be likely to see! Hope you do go!
What a way to start my day – love your photographs of one of the most beautiful coastal areas.
From here on north, the California coast line just become jaw droppingly beautiful~
Out of all the time I lived in San Francisco I never ventured too far up North which was a real loss for me – your scenes are incredible to look at.
How exciting and beautiful.
So very glad you think so my friend!
How wonderful is that! Beats Sea World to bits. We live about 15 minutes from Sea World and we’ve been one time about 20 years ago. Give me your Channel Islands any day! So beautiful, especially knowing they’re free and independent. Beautiful post, Cindy!
There is just that can compare to seeing wild animals free in their own environments. Thanks for getting this Linda~
Beautiful shots of the blue whales. My youngest daughter, husband and kids saw the blue whales while on a recent trip to Calif. when they stayed at Newport Beach. Where exactly is that island (Anacapa)? I don’t remember hearing of that one when we lived out in Calif. in the late sixties. One of our favorite places to visit though was Catalina Island.
Anacapa is off the coast of Oxnard California. Catalina is one of the Channel Islands, but not a national park, since it was developed long ago. Today we go out of Ventura Harbor to Santa Cruz Island.
So beautiful. Wonderful photographs.
Awww, thank you my friend!
Wonderful experience for you!
Lovely photos Cindy. Even better your remind to connect with nature and critters on their terms, not as captives in a zoo. How wonderful that they wanted to play with you. 🙂
Thanks much. It was a pretty thrilling experience! Cheers to you~
I had no idea you are so close to me. We have not yet been to the Channel Islands but it is definitely on our list of places to see. Great photos. 🙂
You will be very happy when you go! They are magnificent~
I loved this post for the utter exuberance of your wildlife adventure, and the reminder of the importance of allowing our sea creatures to live freely in the sea. And your photos, as always, were incredible Cindy. 🙂
Awwww, you are such a good blogging friend! Thank you~
Love these images. The first two are stunning!! How wonderful to be there… The last one is a fascinating, beautiful paint!
The islands are each different then the other and all scenic in different ways. The marine and bird life are astounding and that isn’t even considering the Channel Island Foxes~
I’m put it on my list 🙂 I know Michigan is beautiful! Thank you,Cindy! <3
What a magnificent place! And thank you, Cindy, for using your beautiful photos to share an important message about wild animals, which belong in their natural habitat.
Thank you for supporting this!
You take amazing pictures from fascinating locations, I can see why get such an impressive number of likes and comments, well deserved! 🙂
oooooh you should see the Channel Island foxes I saw today! Spectactular! Thank you so much for such kindness!
Fantastic! And I agree, infinitely better than Sea World. Looking forward to the photos of the foxes.
Oh baby I got em!! What an epic day. Probably 100 pics of the foxes. It is taking all my self control not to post right now!!! Laughing….
I recently read “When the Killing’s Done” by T.C. Boyle and the Northern Channel Islands are featured. Thanks so much for sharing your trip. They really are similar to the Galapagos. Excellent photos!
Oh, I need to check out this book and thank you for the tip!
I think they know the kinship between us. We still have to remember. 🙂
Beautiful shots. 🙂
Exactly! They are more forgiving, less harmful, and more peaceful than we are. They are definitely going to Heaven!!! <3
Great shots of these magnificent creatures, Cindy. What a marvelous place for seeing nature in the wild. Good luck with the foxes. 🙂
Ooooooh, the foxes! Your good luck worked in spades, but not until the final hour. My patience paid off and they came out. Three of them. I got around 100 pics and I was so excited I can’t describe. I have never gotten a good pic of a fox until now, because I so rarely see them
Fabulous post , Cindy! You are so right. If you want to see these creatures, go to a natural habitat!
I can’t stand the idea of cement pools.
Looking excitedly to see the foxes!
Oh my GOD Resa, I almost gave up on the foxes today! The last hour on the island, and bonanza!! I probably got 100 photos of three foxes. I could have easily touched one of them. Channel Island foxes are only located here! The only species in the world. They are so adorable!!! Wait until you see them. They are red and grey and white, like a mixtures of red, grey and arctic foxes!
I went to Alaska and saw not a one. Thanks for sharing- beautiful.
I saw two in Alaska in five trips. They do hunt them there which makes them so shy, But guess what I got so up close and personal today! I got around a 100 pics! Thrilled outa my gourd!!!
Oh how beautiful and I wan to go live there.
Yes!! Exactly! So do I!!!
This is so awesome Cindy! I grew up in SoCal but never had a chance to see the whales; always wanted to! Santa Barbara is a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing your most spectacular day!
Today was just as good. Anybody who can, should visit these islands. Amazing!
What a whale of a tale, Cindy, about the tail of a whale…. Will have to take this in on our next visit to California…, this and the “holler”.
Hugs, Cuz !
Tell me what you want for dinner a couple of days before you come! 😉
hola primo, sus fotos son magníficas . Su castigo para el día es tratar de traducir mi pobre español en Inglés comprensible . Sí … , estoy tomando una clase en español primaria para tratar de volver a aprender lo que se me ha olvidado en los últimos 40 años. Buena suerte ! ( para los dos ) …
How amazing that you were able to see the whales and so much else, included blue-footed boobies! Is this island one on which you can stay or just do day trips?
You can camp on most all the islands in Channel Islands National Park. Visit their website if you are interested. I would strongly encourage it!
Thank you, I will!
I know! It’s a whale of a tale! :
Reblogged this on Dionysus Amber and commented:
Wondeful photos Cindy <3
I am in awe of your blog! Just visited & so pleased to meet you!
Thank-you so much Cindy. I love your bllog too.
What a beautiful post Cindy! I have been to Sea World and also on a boat off the coast of Maine to look for whales (saw none). I would love to see what you did 🙂
I hope you do soon! When you are in the presence of whales up close, they fill your senses and you focus on nothing else. This is why people spontaneously cheer when they see them~
Beautiful photos and wonderful to see sea life wild and free and lovely 🙂 How wonderful to play with such creatures!
Yes, and even more wonderful they wanted to play with us! You and Wolfie rock~
This sometimes causes us to fall straight over the edge! lol 😉
Rockin an rolling eh??? 😉
Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow! (jealous)
I don’t know what it is, but put me in the presence of wild animals and I am immediately filled with joy. The show us, by example, how to live fully in the present. You are a wonderful blogging friend~
Well thank you, and you, of course, i consider one of *my* best and favorite blogging friends, too. 🙂
They simply are. I think all ballen whales get the best spaces in heaven. Think about it, they harm nothing~
Amazing pictures Cindy, so much better to see them in their natural environment! 🙂 The first time I saw a Whale was in a zoo – jumping through hoops. I thought it was wonderful as a child, but it makes me quite uncomfortable thinking about that day now – not the right way to treat such a majestic sea mammal, shouldn’t be allowed. 🙁
I agree, there something about these creatures that is spiritual, and has a gratvitas that is surely worthy of our deep respect.
What an incredible adventure, Cindy. You have such a wonderful life! 🙂 I read about the Channel Islands in the Nature Conservancy magazine a while back and specifically about the foxes. Lucky you!
So my like minded friend, when are you thinking of visiting? <3
Ooh, oh so tempting! Let me fly away tomorrow! 😉
And now I know what heaven is like — thank you for the beauty and the joy.
I have some not very good photos of the shimmering blue belly and side flippers of the blue as it flipped over and went belly up under the boat. I swear it was waving! It is just pure joy to be so near to such magnificent creatures. If everyone experienced this, they would become whale conservationists!
Cindy, awesome images again, thank you! Hugs! Veraiconica
Happy weekend and thank you my friend! <3
i liked the whales and the pelicans and the lovely clear-blues of the ocean, but that zig-zag image of the islands is well framed! beautiful image! z
They are pretty amazing islands aren’t they. Cheers to you my friend and thanks too~
What a beautiful place, and I so hope it stays protected always.
God knows our planet and creatures need protection! I hope so too.
Breathtaking shots. Over 360 likes so far, no wonder…
The admiration is more than mutual as you well know talented one! <3
Thank you for your compliment, Cindy! <3
Cindy, your gorgeous pictures of the whales remind me of how exhilarating it is to see them in the wild.
Blessings ~ Wendy ❀
It is pretty thrilling everytime isn’t it! Thanks so much and have a wonderful week~
Playing catch-up on posts – loved this one. Sea World can’t compete with these creatures in their own environment! RH
Hopefully Seaworld’s financially competitive days are over! Cheers & thanks my friend~
What an amazing place. Thank you for sharing these fascinating photos. Indeed better to observe animals in their natural habitat.
A more wonderful experience for everyone! Thanks for your important blog~
What a truly beautiful way to see these wild and lovely creatures! Yes, rather than, as you say, in swimming pools!
So sad, I can never go to Sea World again after seeing Blackfish~
Wow you have such an awesome life with some great adventures, I am so glad that you are sharing it!
I am so glad you come along with me! You make it more fun~ <3
Cindy, the pictures and story to go with them are beautiful. I once had the great privilege of going whale watching in the Pacific, close to Tofino. A humpback chose to surface very close to our little Zodiac boat. It’s an experience I’ll never forget. Thanks for reminding me with this post.
Tofino and the whole area around there is one of my favorite places in the world. Full of wildlife and so beautiful. I am so glad you had this experience~
Yes, me too. I’m also glad you’ve gotten to visit that incredible area.
Reblogged this on collinaclarke.
I am honored! Thank you so much and cheers to you~
You’re welcome x
Oh my gosh Cindy, these photos really bring back memories from the time I lived in the Santa Barbara area. I also took a tour of the Santa Barbara channel to view the blue whales and other marine life. Breathtaking isn’t it?
Yes, it is incredible. I have never been so close to blue whales and it is a thrill of a lifetime! I am so glad you have experienced it!
It is wonderful how you pointed out that these animals are free to swim and roam, while their poor captive animal cousins are not. I agree with this philosophy, Cindy!
I adored the green rocks, the blue skies and water scenes along with the magnificent whales! Wow!
So happy you enjoyed my friend and like to see the whales swimming free and safe! Cheers & thank you~
ooh stunning captures
Honored you think so & cheers to you!
I love this post. I miss the west coast. (Sh! Don’t tell the east coasters!)
Laughing, I won’t! Some of them may take umbrage, best to keep on the down-low~
Reblogged this on penpowersong.
amazing picture Cindy. absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing them with us!
Wow!!! Your pictures are stunning! Hope you get to take many more and visit many more places this year.
How very kind and it is a pleasure to meet you!
I’m beginning to feel like a broken record but once again…very spectacular pictures. I really love the look of the cave.
So kind of you and much appreciated too! Have a wonderful weekend <3
You too Cindy.
Wow what an incredible experience. I wish I one day could see that. Your photos are amazing.
Thank you. I love your Leonbergers. Such majestic and loveable dogs დ