Wednesday 19 November 2014

Sunset & the Unexpected Whale of Santa Barbara

Sunshine is the best ally in the fight against jet lag.

I arrived in Los Angeles at 7.30am yesterday morning with a group of journalists, having being hosted by United Airlines on its new Dreamliner service between Melbourne and LA. 

We'd had a decent amount of sleep in business class, a good start in the fight against lag.

As we rode aboard the LAX-Santa Barbara shuttle bus, we received our first dose of California sunlight. 

And after a day of sightseeing, we saw the sun set on a cruise into the Santa Barbara Channel, an arm of the Pacific between the coastal city and the Channel Islands.

This is the boat we sailed on:

This was the first mate, Baron:

These were some seals we met along the way:

And this was the sunset:

It was beautiful, but also another brick in the wall of prevention against jet lag. 

Having been through morning light, sunshine throughout the day, and now sunset, surely our addled brains would accept we were in a new timezone?

So far, so good. I had a normal night's sleep. With any luck, that cruise sealed the deal. 

It was also very relaxing - no music, no commentary, just the sea, sail, and views of the ocean and the Santa Ynez mountains behind the city.

Though, unexpectedly, the sunset cruise wasn't our most memorable experience along the coastline of Santa Barbara.

Today at exactly 1pm, we were leaving Stearns Wharf when someone spotted a big shape moving beneath the water between two arms of the pier.

It turned out to be a Grey Whale, distinguished by the white mottling along its grey skin.

It's unusual for one to come this close to the shore to feed, so there was much excitement among onlookers as we watched the huge creature swimming easily around, occasionally surfacing.

I even caught some video footage of the event. Enjoy:

Disclosure time: On this trip I travelled courtesy of United Airlines and Visit Santa Barbara.

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