A menagerie of pacific shore animal life, AKA: Birthday in Catalina ----- And a special thanks to all the well-wishers who commented, I really appreciate that.
So the beginning of this post is the collection of Coastal Critters
we encountered first hand using photos stolen from the interweb. (Since I didn't have an underwater camera with me, or a zoom lens, or in some cases didn't care to get a photo. And also because I was shooting mostly film and will have to wait for the film to be developed to see my shots.)
OK, ready to begin. We saw one of the rare Bald Eagles
living here in southern California.
And watched him swoop down and catch a fish. So accurate an efficient.
We also saw some of the usual suspects while nature looking in Catalina such as the ever present Harbor Seals
, California Sea Lions
, and Brandt's Cormorant
The highlight of our snorkelling adventures was the adundance of Leopard Sharks
living close to the shore in beaches very close to Avalon. I think Logan Kincade got some footage, so look for that in an upcoming episode.
We would pull the boat close to shore and see up to 20 at a time from our standing vantage point, their bodies clearly seen in the sunlight shallows
, but when you get into the water the are very elusive. On this trip finally I was able to snorkel underwater with them, albeit shortly.
One of my favorite sightings was the Shovelnose Guitarfish
. What a weird looking ray! We were observing a bat ray when the guitarfish swam up next to the bat ray and rested next to him. We floated atop these two for a good 3 minutes before Deanna started to freak out, thinking that it might attack us
The Bat Ray's
are great to see. I swam down and touched one thinking that they did not have a stinger, but after reading up on them, I realized perhaps I should not do that.
At one point there were 4 of them hanging out together.
And of course the Stingrays
were in abundance and one was wise to watch his step in the sandy parts of the shallows. Luckily the ones we see in Catalina are small, and not the big ones
that killed Steve Irwin
, and certainly not the REALLY GIANT
Now to the photos we shot:
These are the dudes that came over, Kevin, Grant, Austin, and Grif-dog.
A very enjoyable time was had by all -- jumping off the Frog Rock, and snorkelling with the sharks and rays.
Relaxing on the chill tube. I could have said "Chillaxing" but that would be the ultimate douche thing to say.
Then the dudes left...
Leaving me and Deanna to spend the night there and be alone for a day of Catalina to ourselves. The day after turned out to be EPIC.
Deanna and I had our first ever up close experience with Dolphins
! Hundreds of them!
They would cruise next to our boat and turn sideways to check us out. We could hear them communitacting in whistles and whines. I hope they weren't saying "get the fuck away from us asshole." It was breathtaking.
We were mainly shooting real film, so these digi-cam shots were sort of an afterthought, but we did shoot a little video that will most likely appear in an upcoming Logan Kincade segment, which will certainly be linked here when it comes out.
You can see a sweet jump here, and the Casino building in Avalon in the background. What a mega day!