Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara

I think Santa Barbara was my favourite stop along the way.  The city has definite Spanish influence to its architecture.  It’s a very pretty city without skyscrapers but with plenty of parks, easily accessible shopping and lots of palm trees.

A bicycle/walking path runs along the beach through immense palms.  You really start to feel like you’re in the sub-tropics.  This little cupola was in a park near the harbour.  The main shopping street, State Street, has numerous restaurants of all possible types, clothing stores, even a Saks and Macy’s.  

 The marina was full so we anchored east of Stern’s Wharf.  A local tourist attraction, Stern’s Wharf was built in 1872 and extends half a mile into the Pacific.  It also has restaurants, gift shops etc. and is home to the Ty Warner Sea Center which has aquariums, a touch tank and an area called the ‘wet deck’ where they bring samples up from the sea bed.  I can walk past a shoe store easier than I can walk past one of these places and I spent a nice afternoon there while Mark went to play at the hardware store. 

Stern's Wharf

Pelicans on Stern's Wharf

Pelicans are everywhere and porpoises regularly cruise through the anchorage.

Full moon on the anchorage

 Ty Warner Sea Centre 

Ty Warner Sea Center on Stern's Wharf

Sea Star
Jelly Fish
Spaghetti worm

This was in one of the samples they pulled up from the sea bed.  The young volunteer told me it was called a spaghetti worm.  It's about six inches long and that lump in the belly moves up and down the body like something out of 'Alien'.  It was truly one of the most repulsive things I've ever seen.

This was also in the sea bed sample.  It had been attached to something but had become detached.  The volunteer squeezed it gently and a small stream of water spurted out like a squirt gun.  The whole thing is about four inches long.

Moray Eel

                                                    Octopus at Ty Warner Sea Center

The weather was pleasant and we weren’t in a hurry so we stayed through October 15th.  We were actually planning to spend another two days there when I realized that our freezer was not working.  Mark made some phone calls and found someone who could look at it at Ventura which would have been our next stop.   

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