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Ocean Life

We are just visitors on and in the sea.  The following is dedicated to the real "locals" of the beach 'off of the Riviera...


Velella Velella or "Sea Sailors"; these little guys are related to the jelly fish.  When they appear it is usually during the Spring when they are blown our direction by the wind.  They can have a mild sting so if you handle them, be sure not to rub your face or eyes...

It's not too often you look down into the water and see a giant size spider crab right under your board...

Our photog couldn't convince anyone else to go down for a closer look so he had to do it himself.  Once closer, he realized there were actually TWO crabs engaged in a "Spring Ritual" and he made a hasty retreat...

Paddling is always a little more fun when we get to visit with the whales along the way...

Surfers weren't the first to enjoy 'gliding wave faces...

'Nothing more special than paddling with the dolphin...

Here is a Great Egret taking flight after resting on top of some kelp.  This bird stands about 3 feet tall and has a wing span of about 6 feet, beautiful...

Pelicans, such efficient fishermen and so graceful in the air...  Guest photo

It's always nice to be visited by the dolphin...

Even the Gray Whales who transit the area on their way back and forth between Alaska and Mexico like to stop in and check-out the surf...

A morning visit from some local dolphin...

We have Osprey that visit our beach every year.  When they are flying, they can easily be confused for a big seagull.  The dead give-away that they are an Osprey is when you see them carrying their catch in the "torpedo" or head first position as depicted in this photo...  Photographer unknown

On January 28, 2012, George was on his stand-up board paddling in front of Hermosa Beach when this California gray whale came-up to say hello.  Great photo George, thanks for sharing...

This is a Great Egret.  The Great Egret feeds in shallow water or drier habitats, feeding mainly on fish, frogs, small mammals and occasionally small reptiles and insects, spearing them with its long, sharp bill most of the time by standing still and allowing the prey to come within it's striking distance of it's bill which it uses as a spear. It will often wait motionless for prey, or slowly stalk it's victim.

'Right in front of the TORR tower, the "original surfers" in action with Big Mike in the background.  Thank-you Randy Ruby for sharing this great photo.

How small can you feel on a 10 foot stand-up board next to a 90 foot whale?

Summer 2010 brought cold water but it also brought Blue whales close to the beach.  How big is a Blue whale?  Up to 100 ft long and bigger than a bus...

The Voyager runs from Redondo's King Harbor and it is the boat to ride to see visiting whales.  You can make reservations by calling: (310) 944-1219

During September of 2010; Blue whales followed their favorite food; Krill; to Redondo Beach.  The Blue whales were clearly visible from our beach where we surf.  Here, Sheri catches two whales side by side from a whale watch boat...

Our photog appreciating the moment; thanks to Amy for the photo...

Rut-Roh, it's getting to be that time of year when the water starts warming.  We haven't seen too many, but the jelly fish have been making an appearance again...

When Greg isn't working in a Lifeguard Tower or surfing; one of his favorite places to be is in the kelp beds of Palos Verdes looking for White Sea Bass.  This beauty weighed in at 55 lbs.  Right-on, Greg...

Spring time and the dolphin are in the surf line with their new calves...  Randy Ruby photo

Lifeguard Charlie displays a miracle of life, a shark egg that was washed-up on the beach...

What a cool miracle here; a water proof hanging sack to swim in, a yolk that you are attached to with an umbelical cord, who would want to come out?  If you look close, you will see the baby shark at the two o-'clock position and his tiny cord attaching him to the yolk.  Wow...

This fellow was loaded with personality, he loved swimming between us putting his head up to get a good look at us...

We love the sea birds...  Randy Ruby photo.

Do you ever have the feeling that something or someone is watching you in the water?  On this day, Matt did when this 3 ton gray whale popped-up in the surf line to say hello...  Randy Ruby photo.

Paddling with dolphin.  When paddling with the dolphin; it's a toss-up as to who is enjoying it more, us or the dolphin...

We always wondered if a seagull would eat a halibut.  Well, here is the answer.  This gull walked around with this fish in his throat for 15 minutes before finally getting the whole thing down. Pass the AlkaSeltzer...

We don't know a lot about the different birds that visit the beach but we sure think these guys are beautiful...

Corbina.  These guys cruise the waters edge sucking-up sand crabs with their soft mouths.  These are the fish that bang into your ankles when you are wading, they often hang around your feet hoping you will loosen up some sand crabs for them.  Surf fisherman prize them, this one is a nice one at about 20" and 4 lbs...

Stingray, this is what we do not want to step on.  Most are not very big measuring maybe 12" across but they still deserve respect...

Matt here is showing us a nice bunch of clams he dug out of the sand.  Probably better for fish bait than eating, Matt returned them to their home after this photo...

This is a Leopard shark.  They are common in the surf-line and more prevalent during the months of August and September.  They do not have teeth as they dine on bottom critters like sand crabs.  They still get your attention when you sometimes glide over a batch of them while surfing...  Thanks to Donna for the photo.

Yes, this is the beach of the Riviera and that is the fluke of a whale rolling around in the surf-line.  Our photog snapped this image from the beach during a morning walk.  Our photog hopes to someday be in the water with his camera and capture some images of a whale from an ocean perspective with the beach as a background.  It's good to have dreams...

This is the same whale from above.  The whale is in less than 10 feet of water so we weren't going to get any "leaping" photos.  If you look to the left you will see a "plume" of air from his blow hole; his fluke or tail is on the right of the photo...

'Not to sure what was going on this particular morning but the ocean was a blanket of gulls from the beach all the way out to Haggerty's.  Someone said they were full of grunion from the night before; we're thinking that was a pretty good guess...

This brown gull just walked right up to us for his photo.  We are sure it had something to do with the bag of chips one of the gang had...

The dolphin regularly cruise the length of the beach back and forth for hours just outside the surf-line.  They will often pause around groups of surfers as if to say "hey, what's up"?  Here, a group of dolphin are taking a moment to check out Alex and Karen 7.0 who are surfing just several yards away...

Carlos is focused on an approaching outside set here while the three dolphin behind him are focused on swimming under him for a visit...

Play time!  What a life, eat, sleep, play, repeat.  Kind of sounds like what surfers like to do; "eat, sleep, surf, repeat"...

Love that humped back and stark dorsal fin slicing through the line-up...

Steve R. was visiting on his stand-up paddle board when the dolphin came through.  Here; this dolphin is flashing Steve a toothy grin.  Dolphin are friendly but we would keep our toes and fingers up on the board too...

The dolphin have been around a lot this year.  Part of the reason has been the abundance of squid present in the bay.  This photo was submitted by the crew of the HIGHLINER; a top-notch charter fishing boat out of Redondo Marina.  Fishing for squid involves going out at night, using special high intensity under water lights that attract the squid and then scooping them into the bait tank...

Squid laying on top of the water next to the boat ready to be scooped into the bait tank.  Squid are known to fisherman as "candy bait"; there isn't a fish (or sea mammal) that doesn't love them.  Except for pelicans; birds like them too.  Sounds gross; but if you watch the bird poop on the beach for purple tint; you will know when they are eating squid and when it's time to go out at night for squid.  The crew on the HIGHLINER reported that the water was churining with dolphin, whales and seals the night they caught these squid...


"Flipper", we love 'em; we'll never get tired of taking pictures of them and sharing them here.  Pictures of dolphin and other ocean life are often taken from the beach; we will always try to offer the unique perspective surfers enjoy from the "other side" of the waves...

To first-time visitors to the beach this could be an intimidating sight...

Dolphin.  There is nothing more special than a visit from the dolphin.  During the end of December '08 we were graced with regular visits from these regal mammals; here Gidget takes pause to soak in some of nature's majesty...   Rich Gust photo.

Pelicans are pretty mellow.  Seagulls can be real pests.  Here, this brown gull is heckling this pelican who is just trying to get some rest and relaxation on the beach.  Scroll down to see what came next...

Clearly the brown gull didn't have a real good grasp of just how big the pelican really was.  The pelican was finally annoyed enough to stand-up and "flex" for the little brown gull.  We don't speak seagull but we are sure the little gull is saying: "whoa, dude"!

We're not bird experts but we like these little dudes that seem to show-up each fall.  They are unique to us because of the way their feathers sit on their heads; they look like they are going 100MPH while they are sitting still...

Cormorants.  Often diving around us while we surf; we found these fellows taking a break from fishing on the rocks near Haggerty's.  Sometimes called "Hell divers"; these birds can swim underwater and can go deeper that 100 feet below the surface.  They dine on fish and small eels and nest on the rocks in the cliffs.  There are many different types; these fellows here are also fast flyers once they dry their feathers following a swim.

Bzzzz...  Looks scary but not...  Not unless you are a wooden boy.  This is a carpenter bee; a little out of his element at the beach; these fellows bore 3/8" holes in the wooden fence posts in your yard.  "Which way to the Lifeguard Tower"?

Seagulls. If you look them up in a reference book; they are referred to as being"clepto-parasitic"; they like to steal food while shadowing their buddies.  Kinda' like surfers when you're the one with the pink box; you know; from the donut shop...

Garibaldi.  The California State Fish.  You will find them anywhere there is some underwater "structure" for them to hang around.  We spotted this little guy on one of our "flat day" paddles over to Haggerty's.

Yes, this is a whale.  This 'big boy was just-off Haggerty's. In the winter they will come-up in the surfline, roll around in the shallows and then swim away.  'Quite a sight.

Easy to mistake for a gull or a hawk; once you see one 'snatch a Corbina out of the surf; you'll know it's an Osprey.  When they visit they take up residence in crude nests way-up high in King Harbor and fish the beach.

This Osprey is standing on his Corbina.  Their claws rotate allowing them to fly carrying a fish head forward for aerodynamics.  The fish scraps that fall to the ground under their nests gives away their tree & pole top hideaways.

'Love the Pelicans...  For being such awkward looking creatures they are awesome aviators and incredibly adept and locating and diving on bait fish.  Surfers love to watch them flying low on the water and riding the "updrafts" on the faces of unbroken waves.