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Old 05-11-2016, 22:08   #1
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Are you a Pacific Coast Sailor?

It occurs to me that many folks here don't know about the social groups because any posts there don't show up on "new posts." So, unless there is a thread that links to the group, the group seems to go quiet for years. However, there is a group for us Pacific Coast (of Mexico, U.S. and B.C. and beyond I guess!) folks.
Cruisers & Sailing Forums - Pacific Coast Sailors

...seems a good place to share what's going on, or concerning us, around these parts...

On a more personal note, for this group, I'd like to know if folks have been spotting any sea otters in the Point Conception area and along the coast to Santa Barbara. It is my hope, and especially my daughter's, for the health of the entire channel ecosystem, that they are returning, moving down the coast around the point. Up until the sea urchin fishery kicked in, in the late 70s, they were not uncommon along that stretch of coast. The sea urchin lobby succeeded in having them removed by the government to north of Conception. That policy has ended and theoretically otters are free to return... my daughter and I have only been able to get up there a couple times which hardly would qualify as a survey.. so I am curious if anyone else has spotted them. Thanks!
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:32   #2
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Re: Are you a Pacific Coast Sailor?

Don - You're absolutely right. I investigated and joined a couple of social groups in the beginning but there seemed little to no activity so it just gradually faded from my consciousness. Thanks for the reminder.

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Old 06-11-2016, 05:56   #3
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Re: Are you a Pacific Coast Sailor?

Don,

You guilted me into joining the group!

Boat gone in MdR, but still sail there when I visit... No idea about the otter population, but Rich (Third Day) might have an idea???
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Old 06-11-2016, 06:37   #4
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Re: Are you a Pacific Coast Sailor?

Sorry to hear of your otter love. As a diver in CA for over 40 years I can honestly say they rape the ocean leaving nothing of shellfis but tiny shells. The Channel islands are still beautiful under water with Abalone and scallops and other tasty critters in addition to hundreds of associated plants and animals of all colors. Everywhere otters go there is nothing. Monterey Bay underwater is practically a wasteland compared to tne Islands. No shellfish. Few colors, mostly kelp and grass and bare rocks. If I never saw an otter again it would be too soon.
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Old 06-11-2016, 06:48   #5
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Re: Are you a Pacific Coast Sailor?

I shall always now picture an otter stone faced in a sex offender notice...
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:09   #6
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Re: Are you a Pacific Coast Sailor?

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Originally Posted by Flyingriki View Post
Sorry to hear of your otter love. As a diver in CA for over 40 years I can honestly say they rape the ocean leaving nothing of shellfis but tiny shells. The Channel islands are still beautiful under water with Abalone and scallops and other tasty critters in addition to hundreds of associated plants and animals of all colors. Everywhere otters go there is nothing. Monterey Bay underwater is practically a wasteland compared to tne Islands. No shellfish. Few colors, mostly kelp and grass and bare rocks. If I never saw an otter again it would be too soon.
Wow. If the above were accepted as fact, sea otters would be known to be even worse than people, and well on their way to being the sole cause of global warming and all other forms of climate change. Oh, as I've read the posts, they are subject to arrests or being shot for illegal entry south of Point Conception. No due process or nothin'. Vigilante justice. I saw my first live sea otter in the surf at Cayucos, California in 1968, and have enjoyed seeing them since. BTW, I've been a diver for well over 50 years and still like seeing the critters. Maybe there are other interests affecting the quoted post.

Is at least some of your diving for commercial or income reasons? Are you a biological Luddite opposed to more efficient competition?
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:16   #7
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Re: Are you a Pacific Coast Sailor?

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Sorry to hear of your otter love. As a diver in CA for over 40 years I can honestly say they rape the ocean leaving nothing of shellfis but tiny shells. The Channel islands are still beautiful under water with Abalone and scallops and other tasty critters in addition to hundreds of associated plants and animals of all colors. Everywhere otters go there is nothing. Monterey Bay underwater is practically a wasteland compared to tne Islands. No shellfish. Few colors, mostly kelp and grass and bare rocks. If I never saw an otter again it would be too soon.
There is only one animal that has raped the rivers and oceans on this world and that is man. We have ruined almost every eco system there is to ruin. The sea otter is just one animal that lives along a food chain that will work just fine if left alone. There are many otters in the PNW and they fit in just fine with the balance in nature. The concept that man, the animal that has distroyed almost all the nature he has touched can suggest what animals should be removed from this earth is a joke.
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:21   #8
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Re: Are you a Pacific Coast Sailor?

Let's see.... otters for thousands of years, abundant abalone etc. Man for 200 years , everything disappears, including almost the otters. Yea sure, it's the otters that are the problem.
On a brighter note, to Don C L's post, otters are now abundant according to the scientists studying them on the coast. I watched two programs on PBS this year about it. They are almost getting too abundant for the ecosystem IIRC.
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:22   #9
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Re: Are you a Pacific Coast Sailor?

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I shall always now picture an otter stone faced in a sex offender notice...
I hear they make really warm hats and mittens,😉
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:27   #10
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Are you a Pacific Coast Sailor?

There otter be another way of thinking about this. Nature seems to have a way of creating balance if we can stay outter of her way.
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:53   #11
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Re: Are you a Pacific Coast Sailor?

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There otter be another way of thinking about this. Nature seems to have a way of creating balance if we can stay outter of her way.
Nice to see some has a little tongue in cheek on this thread.

I did not know about the Pacific interest group. I'll have to join.
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:16   #12
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Re: Are you a Pacific Coast Sailor?

I must be doing something wrong. I went to the Pacific Coast group and it only shows 11 threads and almost no response to any of them. There are a dozen responses to this thread, but the group shows zero for this thread. What am I doing wrong to not see all of it? _____Grant.
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:19   #13
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Re: Are you a Pacific Coast Sailor?

Sea otters are making a return to the Salish Sea.
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:28   #14
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Re: Are you a Pacific Coast Sailor?

The otter decimation of the ocean is ridiculous . Hang onto your hat as I have seen a single along the run from Santa Barbara and Pt. Conception. Also in Moro Bay.
To the concerned diver your bottom scratching could be doing greater damage.
I have run that coast for over 40 years and never cease to thrill at the abundance of marine life.
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:32   #15
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Re: Are you a Pacific Coast Sailor?

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Sorry to hear of your otter love. As a diver in CA for over 40 years I can honestly say they rape the ocean leaving nothing of shellfis but tiny shells. The Channel islands are still beautiful under water with Abalone and scallops and other tasty critters in addition to hundreds of associated plants and animals of all colors. Everywhere otters go there is nothing. Monterey Bay underwater is practically a wasteland compared to tne Islands. No shellfish. Few colors, mostly kelp and grass and bare rocks. If I never saw an otter again it would be too soon.
OK, I'll bite. I too have dived Monterey, learned there in 1975, many dives from Monastery Beach, Cannery Row and Point Lobos. I too have dived the islands. Point Lobos and Monastery Beach have a tremendous diversity of life that is not a whit threatened by otters, it is in fact protected by the otters.
The Southern Sea Otter is native to entire the west coast of the United States to Baja. The otters evolved with the ecosystem and play a crucial role in it to maintain a healthy balance of all life there. Otters prefer to eat urchins and abalone, but paradoxically, they could have HELPED the abalone population around the islands locally when they were all struck by the disastrous infection that came up with warmer waters in the 80s. The otters eat urchins (are you an urchin diver?) and the the urchins eat algae and especially kelp holdfasts. Otters help ensure kelp forests remain present and healthy. Had the otters been present to keep the urchin population in check, those few abalone that survived would have had a BETTER chance at recovery with a greater supply of food algae. Abalone are eaten by otters but not threatened by otters.
Surely if you have dived the islands you know that what you say does not quite match the facts. Yes, the north coast of Santa Rosa island still has kelp beds, and that is where urchin divers prefer to collect urchins. But as I am sure you know, they only collect the big ones. The little ones are left and they keep eating. You must be aware of the term "urchin barrens" that refers to those areas scoured and eaten clean by juvenile urchins, which ends up starving all the other members of the ecosystem, since they all to some extent, directly or indirectly, depend on kelp. Surely you have dived the north coast of Santa Cruz island with its huge expanses of bare rocky ocean floor covered only by small, immature urchins. If allowed to, otters would come in, clean up that mess, and help restore a balanced, healthy kelp forest ecosystem which benefits finfish and all shellfish alike, INCLUDING abalone, by giving them more habitat with food and less competition from urchins.
In 1978 I volunteered briefly at the Natural History Museum cleaning skeletons wash up on local beaches. The FIRST one I was given to prepare was an otter that had washed up near Isla Vista with a .22 bullet hole in its head. Those were the early days of the boom of the urchin business to supply the Japanese market and angry urchin divers wore t-shirts showing an otter devouring an urchin boat and they came loaded for bear to local hearings.
I am sorry to hear of your otter fear, but my feeling is: that has to stop, and should have stopped 40 years ago.

So anyway, anyone been around Conception lately?
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