Santa Cruz Island Day 1 By Danielle Terhune
(06/01/10 10:43:35)Related animals: Dolphin, Dragonfly, Fox, Frog, Lizard, Sea Lion, Seal, Tadpole, Whale Santa Cruz Island Day 2
Sunday, May 16 2010
A Recollection of Day 1
Within minutes of our ferry leaving the harbor we were surround by groups of dolphins! It was one of the most exciting things that I have ever witnessed. It seemed like they all appeared out of nowhere from all sides. They were riding the wake! They were circling the boat, swimming underneath it, and swimming in front of it!
The best part of the whole dolphin experience was when they were jumping across the water past the front of the boat then all of a sudden a sea lion goes leaping through the air with the dolphins. And it kept going and jumping along with the dolphins mimicking and chasing them. I remember Tanasa, Lisa, and I were laughing so hard because it was so amazing and funny to see a sea lion enjoying the same entertainments as the dolphins.
After we left the dolphins and continued our way to Santa Cruz Island it took almost our whole trip before we saw anything else. After the first stop at the Scorpion dock some crazy sight seeing happened. First we saw way more sea lions and then dolphins and then smidgens of a smallish humpback whale. Then the whale disappeared by the dolphins came closer to check our boat.
There was a cute little two year old boy out on the deck in his momís arms who wasnít satisfied with the dolphins at all. He demanded to see the whale, over and over again. All of a sudden a giant humpback whale appeared in the distance spouting up water and splashing its tail. The boy got super excited and it was adorable. Then, according to the boat driver, the whale did something unprecedented, it came up over and over again to the surface when normally itís supposed to come up for air every fifteen minutes or so. You could hear the awe and excitement in the driverís voice each time the whale surfaced again. I knew by that indicator that we were witnessing something special.
Iím wondering why we were so lucky to spot this whale and its abnormal behavior. I think back in class when we had Toni lecturing about the dolphins and Nora mentioned that she felt this overwhelming sadness and cried when she was little after doing a Ďswim with the dolphinsí experience. Then I believe someone else mentioned that after seeing a whole in captivity as a small child they too cried. Iím wondering if that little boy on the boat calling for the whale had some sort of impact on the whaleís decision to resurface an unprecedented amount of times.
Later in the day our whole group, or most of us set off to the swimming hole. It was a good mile of so hike down the road, and trough a dried up rocky river bed. There were sporadic patches of algae-rich puddles and ponds before we reached the swimming hole. In these scummy spots were tadpoles. They were so big too. Some had little legs along with their eel like tale. They were pretty cute. There were a lot of tadpoles in our swimming hole as well. The water was super cold, but did not keep the majority of us, including myself from jumping right in.
The best part of the swimming hole was watching the orangey red dragon flies fly around, and eyeing the sunbathing lizards. Lying out on the rocks with the lizards made me feel like we were enjoying one of Godís great gifts of sunbathing. It felt so good and refreshing.
Later in the night between dinner and símores Matt and I went outside in search of marshmallow roasting sticks. I bent down to grab a prospective stick and something caught my eye about five feet away. It was the tiniest little fox, the Santa Cruz Island Fox. Apparently it is the second smallest fox in the world. Matt pointed out one in the field below. This fox seemed much larger, like average fox size, but Lisa assured me it was impossible to see a fox that big on the island because there is only one species here. Iím still not sure. That fox was pretty big. I am so happy that I got to see it.