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Giant kelp in crystal clear water

2015 10-21 SB Coast

I don’t usually report on private trips, but today was so unique I had to do it. It was a private charter with biologists from the Marine Science Institute, UCSB on board. We ran up the coast a few miles to Mohawk Reef and met up with divers on board the “Kelpfish” who transferred some kelp samples and specimens to the touch tanks that were brought on board.   The biologists each gave a summary of their current research then enjoyed both the touch tank and the extremely clear Santa Barbara cobalt water that had moved in to the kelp beds and nearshore waters. Deck hand Eric measured the SST today in the kelp and it was 73.4°F.

Captain Dave ran slowly through the giant kelp and commercial lobster trap hardware so everyone could clearly see the bottom topography, the kelp stipes and fronds, schools of grunion, and a few of the lobster traps themselves situated on the sea floor.   In shallower water we passed across reefs with abundant surf grass beds.

It was hot and sunny with only a slight breeze from the northeast. There was a male and a female juvenile California spiny lobster from the touch tank, plus a bat star with 6 arms (instead of 5), and some other typical rock reef and kelp bed invertebrates.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express

PS   Back to whale watching tomorrow !

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