Island Mist

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By John Wiley

As we approached the Channel Islands, they appeared as gems out of the mist. San Miguel's dune stripes were subtly magnificent shades of greens and blues. The ranger station and airstrip beckon any pilot can land there*, you just can't ever fly again as the joke goes. All the islands are verdant from the rains, and already there are traces of an approaching bloom. At the East end of San Miguel, a few pinnipeds large and small found a quiet inlet away from the innumerable crowded beaches and coves. Many minor miracles away, we looked past the Anacapa Light where San Miguel was a mere hint in the moist distance.


*[EDitor's Note: A representative from the Channel Islands National Park contacted us to remind our readers that the island's airstrips are not public and are not open to landing by private aircraft. But you already knew that.]

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John Wiley Feb 26, 2019 10:16 PM
Island Mist

Pilots know no landing on any of the islands is allowed without prior permission, and in fact none of the many airstrips out there are depicted on FAA charts. That was the point of my joke about violators never flying again, but it wasn't clear. So I'm glad Ed published that prohibition, clarified to them by CINP, for the public to also be aware of.

Flicka Feb 26, 2019 03:13 PM
Island Mist

John, In the 1930s George Hammond flew to San Miguel and landed in a sheep pasture. The Lesters who lived there were astounded as there had never been a plane landing before. They welcomed George and became lifelong friends. George would fly their mail as well as eggs and vegetables from the family estate, Bonnymede, and special treats George's mother, Esther Hammond, had their chef make. George would take Mrs. Lester and her little girls into SB for a day of shopping and take them home the same day. Previously Mrs. Lester had only been off the island 2xs, to have her babies on the mainland, the Coast Guard had transported her on the hours long trips.

John Wiley Feb 26, 2019 10:05 PM
Island Mist

Wow, air minutes vs ship hours in often rough seas! What an amazing thing that must have been for Esther, eh? Thanks for sharing that story, Flicka. To me it's a shame that SB boaters can apparently visit the islands but aircraft are strictly prohibited other than the one charter out of Camarillo. I wonder if anyone has ever flown over in a seaplane or amphibian, landed offshore, and taxied in on the water. Our only time on land there was via the charter boat out of Ventura, hours on rough seas there and back.

biguglystick Feb 25, 2019 10:09 AM
Island Mist

I sure would like to hang out on that little inlet beach in the third photo! Ahhhh! NO PEOPLE.

taz Feb 24, 2019 05:58 PM
Island Mist

These photos are stunning! What an amazing world. The floating islands are incredible. I love the surf crashing against the colored rocks and soft flow of water lapping toward the seals. Thank you for sharing with everyone.

a-1568541055 Feb 24, 2019 04:58 PM
Island Mist

Photoshopping blue is hard to do, i.e.

EastBeach Feb 24, 2019 04:28 PM
Island Mist

Fanatastic photos! I had forgotten how the water can take on deep hues of aqua/turquoise around the islands. Is that due to bioluminescent plankton?

Potif Feb 24, 2019 06:29 PM
Island Mist

JOHN WILEY - Whatever you are doing... KEEP DOING IT!!! Your photographs are beautiful and give us all a wonderful view of our world. In these the way the clouds appeared (at just the right level), does make the islands appear to be floating in the sky! :)

EastBeach Feb 24, 2019 06:00 PM
Island Mist

I found notes from my trip to Anacapa Island long ago. Our biology teacher said the turquoise colored surf that we could see surrounding parts of the island (very different than the color of the rest of the ocean) was due to a kind of plankton called a dinoflaggelete. They exhibit bioluminescence when threatened or agitated in waves. It's easy to see at night but also during the day when there are lots of them. Boaters and surfers report this often. Here's a night-time video ...... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMz86z5NTWY

a-1568541055 Feb 24, 2019 04:59 PM
Island Mist

"The ocean looks blue because red, orange and yellow (long wavelength light) are absorbed more strongly by water than is blue (short wavelength light). So when white light from the sun enters the ocean, it is mostly the blue that gets returned. Same reason the sky is blue."

John Wiley Feb 24, 2019 04:54 PM
Island Mist

It's amazingly beautiful from the air, and I wish cameras could capture what our eyes do instead of the haze that's difficult to eliminate. •Details: My compromise is to make it look similar to what we saw, without spending much time on it. All this to say, the overall colors are shifted but not deliberately altered. I've shot a few pix w/polarized filter and that cuts the haze a lot, but introduces its own color shift that's even harder to eliminate. Color shift and haze are also both affected by the sun position relative to camera position and angle. While landscape photographers are aware of all this, there are additional factors in aerial photography that add a lot of difficulty. In the end, it's great that people can experience some of the beauty we endeavor to share. :)

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