Santa Rosa Island is the second largest of the Channel Islands lying off the coast of southern California. Part of Channel Islands National Park, Santa Rosa hosts one of only two populations of Torrey Pine (Pinus torreyana) in the world, and is a beautiful treasure that has been preserved for the future.
Located some 33 miles southwest of Santa Barbara on the California coast, Santa Rosa is strongly influenced by the weather conditions created by the California Current flowing south from the Gulf of Alaska. As a result, wind is a regular feature of the island, and the invisible subject of today’s photo.
Looking northwest across Bechers Bay toward Carrington Point, the influence of the wind can be seen in the sculpting of the sand along the beach, and in the pattern of the wind swells approaching the beach in graceful arcs. On the westernmost islands of Santa Rosa and San Miguel, wind is an almost constant companion, moving sand, soil, water, and any other loose objects in its path. The sometimes stark beauty of these islands is in large measure imparted by the incessant wind.
This photo was taken with a Canon EF17-40 mm f/4L USM lens zoomed to 40 mm and attached to a Canon EOS 5D Mk. III. The exposure was set to 1/1000 sec. at f/5.6 and ISO 100.