Kelp Fronds, Santa Barbara Island

By May 18, 2008Underwater Life

Santa Barbara Island is part of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. I used to dive at Santa Barbara Island a few times each year. There are a few pinniped rookeries there, the best one being the sea lions at Webster Point. When the water is clean at Santa Barbara Island, the diving is as good there as anywhere on the West Coast. In addition to the fantastic opportunities to dive with sea lions, one also can spend time in vast, mature, beautiful kelp forests, particularly those between the main island and Sutil Island just offshore. After spending a few hours in the morning freediving among California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), I put on a tank and made a dive under the boat as it was anchored for lunch near Sutil Island, and made this image. To see a collection of many underwater and topside images from Santa Barbara Island in Google Earth, try this KML file:

Kelp frond in motion, time exposure, Macrocystis pyrifera, Santa Barbara Island

Kelp frond in motion, time exposure.
Image ID: 02344
Species: Giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera
Location: Santa Barbara Island, California, USA

About Phil Colla

I am a natural history photographer. I enjoy making compelling images in the ocean, on land, and in the air. I have maintained the Natural History Photography blog since 2005 and my searchable Natural History Photography Library since 1997. Here are some tear sheets and behind the scenes views. Thanks for looking!