Worth the Drive
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Orcas Frolic Near Ventura

The large pod was spied in the Santa Barbara Channel.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Andrea Mills/Island Packers
    An Island Packers boat spied "a pod of about 20 Orca" in the Santa Barbara Channel on Saturday, Nov. 30.

    THE UNDERWATER CALENDAR: It would be silly to say that the ocean, or places like the Santa Barbara Channel, possess calendars or have a scheduler on staff. Well, of course tidal movements and phases of the moon are part of the monthly ocean schedule, indeed, but we're talking about an actual scheduler, an employee who determines when the blue whales will migrate and if sting rays need to be further down the coast at specific times of the year. But if there was a scheduler on staff, for the Santa Barbara Channel, sending fishies to and fro, we can only imagine they're having one of the busiest falls ever. There was the Great White sighting at the end of September -- that made headlines up and down the coast -- and now? Why a sizable pod of Orcas showed up in the Santa Barbara Channel to do their Orca thing (Orca thing=swim, frolic, push air through their blowholes, et cetera). And what do we mean by "sizable"? Glad you asked: Boat-y adventure company Island Packers, which sidled up alongside the Orcas on Saturday, Nov. 30, put the pod at about 20.

    AT ABOUT 20: That had to be repeated, because that is a whole buncha Orca going on. "(A) huge feeding frenzy with Common Dolphin" rounded out the day, too, as well as a cameo by some Flying Bottlenose Dolphin. Seriously, Santa Barbara Channel, if you don't have an underwater calendar or scheduler, it sounds like you need one. There is a heck of a lot of nature going down between the mainland and the Channel Islands. And how lucky that some Thanksgiving weekend tourists got a whale of a time they likely weren't expecting. (We had to. Had to. Like, there was no way we weren't going to type "whale of a time" back there. Just so you know.)