Playing with Blue Whales~

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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!
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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!
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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.
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We also saw sleeping pods of sea lions.
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And drowsy, daydreaming Pelicans. There were so many more incredible critters!
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We spent all day on Anacapa Island, one of the five islands in Channel Islands National Park.
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Anacapa is composed of three interconnected islets.
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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!
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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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176 thoughts on “Playing with Blue Whales~

  1. 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!

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    • 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!

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  2. 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!

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      • 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 ) …

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  3. 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. 😦

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  4. 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!

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    • 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!

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  5. 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.

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  6. 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?

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  7. 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!

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