Friday, November 28, 2014

Santa Cruz Island visit number 1

 We headed out to Santa Cruz island in order to see foxes, and we did.  The island Foxes live all over the island, but mostly they hang out in Scorpion Cove, and that is where we found them.  On the way over we were pummeled by high winds and big seas, and saw a Minke Whale breaching, but didn't get any pictures on account of the weather.
After Scorpion, we went around to the south side of the island, to Smuggler's Cove.  I'd been here before but not really explored the shoreline very well, and Lindsay showed me a neat canyon that extended into the hills a ways.  We set off in search of adventure and wound our way into the canyon lands.  We had both just finished reading "Desert Solitare" by Edward Abbey, a book about Arches National Park and the area around it.  I was really reminded of the southwest by the cliffs and the deep gulches.  There were lots of birds in the canyon and we even found some pools of water.  Puddles, really.
As we got back to the boat a choppy sea was building from the east, so we hauled up the anchor and took off in search of shelter.  There are tons of great places to visit on the south side of Santa Cruz Island, and as we sailed along looking at each in turn I thought it would be a great place to spend more time.  We'll be going back tomorrow.
We snorkeled at about 5 different places and saw a bunch of really cool things, with reasonably good visibility.  There is this antler kelp stuff that looks like bull kelp from the Northwest, but after the bulb it splits into two anters and looks kind of reindeerish.  We also saw the biggest lobster I've ever seen, caught in a trap.  Then, we scooted around the west end and back to Goleta.  We got a few looks at more common dolphins and some Risso's dolphins as well, but no more big whales.  Maybe next time.

 We also saw some monsters.....
its amazing how many dead things there are on the beaches.  I wonder if it is from the black tar tide or just that there aren't enough scavengers to pick it all over quickly.  There is a lot of life out there, though.  Despite the amount of death.
 Here's my little skiff, the walker bay 8.

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