I made it into Los Angeles last night, and the difference in weather was quite welcome. It’s amazing what feels warm to you when you are coming from -26 temperatures.
Nick lives in Santa Barbara, which is roughly two hours North of Los Angeles. If you are able to time your drive to miss the Los Angeles traffic it is actually a fairly easy drive.
On the docket for day one was to first get acquainted with the city of Santa Barbara, then check out the work that Nick is doing with seal rescues. I was really excited about seeing that as I have heard so much from him.
Santa Barbara is a beautiful city with some really pretty stretches of coastline. The pier in downtown Santa Barbara was really neat to see and has some some good seafood restaurants that I am going to checkout.
I should have some time to checkout more of Santa Barbara in the next few days and will undoubtedly be creating a visitor guide for this great city in the coming months. So make sure you keep a lookout for that.
After checking out the city, we headed further North to check out the seal rescue rehabilitation center that Nick has been working with. They rescue baby seals that have been orphaned by their mothers for various reasons and then rehabilitate them until they are big enough and strong enough to make it on their own.
They refurbished an old school building, which has been equipped with a veterinary clinic and several indoor and outdoor holding pens where they keep and care for the baby seals. They as such amazing animals and seeing them brought me right back to our experiences in the Galapagos Islands.
They are currently caring for four young female sea lions, and they were quite happy to see us when we came in. Though I think it probably had more to do with the fact that they were expecting to be fed. These girls that you see below weigh roughly 40 pounds and will need to roughly double that weight before they can be released.
They have also done some rescues of baby dolphins, like the little guy you see below. The baby dolphins who need care tend to beach themselves because they get so weak from malnourishment that they have trouble surfacing for air. So they will come near shore to make breathing easier. This little guy was rescued and transferred to Sea World for rehabilitation and then release.
That is it for today. Tomorrow morning we will be getting up bright and early to head 3.5 hours East to Joshua Tree National Park. Look out for another update on that tomorrow morning. Until then, safe and happy travels!