Blue Whale Diving : Ocean Pollution Paddle Out

The blue whale is the largest animal that has ever lived on Earth. They are one of the rarest of the whales, and most biologists consider them to be among the most endangered of the great whales. It is estimated that there are only about 8000-14000 blue whales world-wide, (some say less than 5000) which makes them an endangered species. We humans need to do anything we can to help them survive.

It is not that common that the blue whale shows it’s tail flukes before diving…
on a recent trip to the Channel Islands, I captured this sequence…

The ~ 2000 blue whales that feed along the California coast make up the largest concentration of blue whales in the world. During the Fall of 2007, four blue whale mortalities were confirmed to be caused by ship strikes in the Santa Barbara Channel off Southern California.

Blue whale factoids:
* Blue whales grow to be about 80′ – 88′ long on average, weighing up to 150 tons…

* The heart of a blue whale is about the size of a VW beetle and weighs 1,000 pounds or more.

* Blue whales can dive for up to an hour, going to a depth of 350 feet.

* Blue whales are very fast swimmers; they normally swim 3-20 mph, but can go up to 24-30 mph bursts when in danger.


During my college years in the Oceanography Department at Humboldt State University, I was blessed to be able to work with (and surf with) Tom Pratte…the father of modern surfing environmentalism…co-founder of the Surfrider Foundation…

In the early days of surfing environmentalism, we paddled kayaks around a surfing reef at Shelter Cove, surveying and inventorying rocks that were being “stolen” to build a nearby marina…by bringing public attention to this fact, we were able to help save the surfing resource…

While this fight to protect surfing resources continues around the world, we also need to bring focus on the quality of the water that we play in…


The Santa Barbara Chapter of Surfrider will hold its fourth anniversary Paddle Out, “Turn the Tide on Ocean Pollution” event at Stearn’s Wharf from 11:00 am to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 20, 2008. People-powered participants of all ages are invited to join the paddle out in solidarity of preserving and protecting the world’s oceans.

This event offers two levels of participation:
(1) Open registration (FREE)
(2) Surfrider Supporter for $25. The Surfrider Supporters will receive goodie bags, including an event tee shirt and a lunch ticket for Wahoo’s. Please be sure to bring your kids too. Each child accompanied by one Surfrider Supporter will receive a goodie bag with a children’s shirt (quantities limited so be sure to register as soon as possible).

Guest speakers include Mayor Marty Blum and Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal.

Download registration form here…

Event Day and Time
Saturday, September 20, 2008, from 11:00 to 2:00 p.m.

Land Event Location
East Beach (immediately on the east side Stearn’s Wharf) in Santa Barbara

Water Event Location
Starting line for paddle will be at the base of Stearn’s Wharf
Healing Circle will be held in the “Y” of Stearn’s Wharf

Event Timing
10:30 a.m. – Information Fair setup
11:00 a.m. – Event participant registration begins, silent auction opens
12:30 p.m. – Guest speakers will address our event participants
12:50 p.m. – Participants suit up and grab boards
1:00 p.m. – Group photo and then we will begin the general “paddle out”
1:30 p.m. – All participants come together in “Y” of Stearn’s Wharf. Best photo opportunity will be to view the Healing Circle from the Wharf by the Sea Center
2:00 p.m. – Lunch from Wahoo’s is served

Event Contacts
Event Registration and Corporate Involvement
Nathan Camp
Phone: (805-252-2317)

Event Volunteer Coordinator
Alex Palley

Event Chair-Media spokesperson
Ken Palley, Santa Barbara Surfrider Chairperson

WARDOGBlue Whale Diving : Ocean Pollution Paddle Out

Leave a Reply