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GregB View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 September 2007 at 9:29pm

Tood the kids on a whale watching ride yesterday  http://www.condorcruises.com/  and saw at least 25 Blue and Humpback whales near Santa Cruz island in the channel west of Santa Barbara.  Quite an experience to be so close to these 100 foot mammals whose heart is about the size of a volkswagon.

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stbarthlover View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stbarthlover Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 September 2007 at 10:28am
Very cool, Greg.  Reminds me of the time my wife and I went on a whale-watching ride off the coast of Maui -- saw not one single whale, although the guide swore a swell in the sea was the back of one!  A few years later we were riding a ferry from Lanai to Maui, not even looking for whales, and they were all around us.  They are, indeed, magnificent creatures.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GregB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 September 2007 at 11:00am
We lucked out and saw between 25-30 whales plus hundreds of dolphins.  It was amazing how close the whales surfaced to the boat.  When they dive deep, they leave a "footprint" of glassy water on the surface.
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dragonness View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dragonness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 September 2007 at 12:46am

Didn't know about the size of their heart.  That's pretty crazy big! 

I always wonder how these whale watching operators dare to direct the boats around these creatures.  I've been on a couple of trips and the whales really do get close.
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GregB View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GregB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2007 at 1:50am
Good question dragonness.  The captain of the boat emphasized that the Condor Express was designed with the safety of the whales in mind.  No propellers or steering rudders are there to harm the whales.  Several times the captain could see on the sonar that the what had gone directly below the boat.  See the boat specs here.
 
Some more photos of the Santa Barbara harbor, pier and Santa Cruz island.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stbarthlover Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2007 at 2:53am
That first picture reminds me of the caves on the Na Pali coast on Kauai.  Are those caves?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GregB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2007 at 2:56am
Yes, that is a cave that goes back under Santa Cruz island for 1,200 feet and is accessible by kayak.  Na Pali coast is amazing...plus the water is warmer than Santa Barbara.  Did you take the helicopter tour on Kauai?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stbarthlover Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2007 at 3:12am
I couldn't get that drunk.  I love to fly in fixed-wing aircraft, but have a phobia about helicopters.  Don't know why.  Just do.  Loved the Zodiac tours of the Na Pali coast, though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dragonness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2007 at 4:48am
Greg, I meant, more selfishly, how dare they go with the boats where the whales might hurt the boats...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GregB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2007 at 10:36am
Since the whale watching boats are not thinking Moby Dick and hurling harpoons, the whales seem to know this and actually put on a show for the whale watchers on the boat.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GregB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2007 at 11:14am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stbarthlover Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2007 at 12:04pm
Nothing a Stinger from Saline couldn't take care of.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote katva Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 September 2007 at 8:11pm
Greg---your photos are wonderful!  I grew up in LA, and we spent just about every weekend cruising the Channel Islands, and Santa Cruz Is. was the favorite!  We spent many days anchored in one of the large bays, and we collected a huge amount of sand dollars from the beaches.  That cave looks like one we used to take our Avon dinghy into, and I can still feel the swells, and the disctinct sond of being in there!  It was always sort of terrifying to me as a little girl.... We have some great old photos of us on that island, and the sea life we saw---dolphins, whales, sharks......Some day I will bring my son there to show him---it's spectacular!
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