Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Since I didn't have access to a computer to send everyone a Christmas greeting, its coming now with your New Year's greeting... I figured it was better late than never.. :) At least I made it in time for New Year's. :)


Moving on to the point....

May 2009 be a happy, healthy New Year for all of you!

Best wishes from Michele, Kayla, Cubby and our 2 fish; Cali and no name yet for the blue one.

Don't forget to check out the posts from yesterday... :) :)

Gray Whales turning out to be ORCAS....

My mission for Gray Whale photos turned into Orcas.. :) Can I really complain??? Definitely no complaints here!!

Since I am so far behind, I am going to post out of order. Not as planned, but it's the way its going to be since Orcas appeared before my computer was fixed to get the other posts up... I still don’t have my computer back, but hopefully soon. So, how do you post something before Orcas??? Impossible! :):) Okay... so I am an Orcaholic...

Backing up a few days….

This last week God has given me so many blessings and a fantastic week. He has reminded me of just how beautiful nature is hereon earth. It all started on Christmas with a snowstorm that covered the ground with a beautiful blanket of snow... Waking up to a beautiful Friday morning, my camera was calling me to go out and document the snow. Only planning to spend an hour or so out, it ended up being four hours. It was just too beautiful! Snow photos coming soon. Orcas first. :)

I left my parents house later Friday evening to head home. Yes, without my daughter. She was staying at Grandpa and Grandma's for a few days to give me a much needed break. So, I took advantage of doing some things that I can't really do with her.

Saturday I had the opportunity to go out to Anacapa Island in the Channel Islands National Park. What a beautiful day it turned out to be. We didn't see any whales on the trip there and back, but did see some Common Dolphins... Anacapa Island post coming soon! :) Orcas first. :)

Since I didn't get my Gray Whale photos on the Anacapa Island trip, I decided to go out Sunday morning on the whale watch trip out of Ventura. It was another beautiful day out. We left Ventura harbor toward the islands where the Gray Whales usually migrate through the passage between Anacapa Island and Santa Cruz Island.

About 3/4 of our way out there, Anthony Lombardi; the captain of the Islander received a call letting him know there were Orcas down east off the coast of Oxnard heading east (towards Malibu). So, since Orcas are not very common to see, off we went. YEAH! :)

There was a pod of about 6 Transient Orcas on a mission heading east. They spent quite a bit of time underwater with a few cycles of breaths. It was so great! What a treat! We spent quite a while with them

moving eastward. When it was time to leave, we could almost see some of the Malibu houses. They were traveling quite fast.

On our way back to the Ventura harbor, we saw a large pod of Common Dolphins. Close to 1,000. They were surprisingly heading east.

Once we reached the harbor, Anthony got a call from the whale watch boat out of Santa Barbara that arrived on the Orcas when we were leaving them, he told Anthony that once the dolphins realized they were entering Orca country, they immediately turned around and headed backup the coast in the opposite direction of those Orcas. They were not wanting to become their dinner!

Monday arrived and I was getting some much needed things done at home. The weather outside was so beautiful again, and I was getting antsy. My neighbors were being their typical selves, so I decided to get out of the house. I called up Island Packers to see if there was room on the afternoon Whale Watch trip. So, once again, I was on my mission for Gray Whale photos. I am putting together a DVD slide show on the whales that come through the Santa Barbara Channel, through the Channel Islands National Park including facts about the whales, etc. All I need are some Gray Whale photos from this area.

Therefore, Jason; the captain on the Vanguard out of Channel Islands Harbor headed out to the passage between the two islands; Anacapa and Santa Cruz to find the Gray Whales they spotted on the morning trip or some new ones making their way down to the lagoons in Baja. We went through the passage and started heading east along the backside of Anacapa Island. I was getting a little concerned that we were not going to see anything. Suddenly, coming around the east side of the island were a ton of Common Dolphins in the beautiful late lighting heading west along the backside of the island. The naturalist on board counted approximately 3500

dolphins using their special method for figuring out the numbers.

The dolphins passed and we continued our mission for whales heading east along the backside of the island when not even five minutes later we spotted a pod of Orcas traveling westward. They were not far behind the dolphins, but didn't seem to be rushing toward them. The Orcas from this area are Transients which eat mammals. There were about 5 Orcas in this pod. The lighting was beautiful as they travel westward passing us.

We had to leave the Orcas after they passed us to start heading back to the harbor. We continued east along the backside, around to the arch at the east end of the island and headed back to the harbor. We also saw a ton of Sea Gulls and Pelicans on our way out there and back. At the west end of Anacapa Island is a breeding ground for Brown Pelicans and closed to the public.

God gave us a beautiful sunset to watch on our way back to the harbor. Photo is of Anacapa Island. The point of view is as if I was standing on the main land.

Coming soon: Gorillas, Anacapa Island, Winter scenes and maybe another subject or two. :) :) Keep checking back for them... :)

I am trying to find out the I.D.’s of some of these Transients. Once I find them out, I will post them and include some info about Transient Orcas.

Take care.

More photos of the whales, dolphins will be added to my website soon.