One of the few places to park around lunchtime in Santa Barbara is out on the pier. Parking is free while eating at The Harbor Restaurant, so we made the best of it. While waiting for my lobster pot pie, I took pictures of harbor traffic, including one of a ship named the Ocean Rose. Looking at the pictures later on, I could see large bags of something on the deck. What’s in them?
Non-trivial web sleuthing revealed the Ocean Rose to be a kelp harvesting ship owned by The Abalone Farm. It cuts kelp near the surface, scoops it onto the deck, and puts it in one ton bags. Four million captive abalone scarf down a heap of kelp on their way to the sushi chefs.
Abalone are meaty shellfish that grow naturally along the Pacific Coast. Wild abalone are a favorite food of sea otters as well as sushi aficionados. Human harvesting in the wild is limited, hence the business of farming them in tanks.
I began with this image:
Modern high resolution digital images allow significant cropping while maintaining scene detail. Making the ship the star attraction revels the name, the barge-like construction, and bags on deck. there are some pelicans watching from the shore. I lightened the dark features of the ship in Photoshop.
An enlarged version is here.
The point here is that pictures can have unknown stories waiting for discovery. Ships are easier than most to track down on the internet. So stay alert while waiting for your lunch.