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11 Humpback Whales and tons of Dolphins

2015 08-24 SB Channel

Once again our Captain Eric sat in the “cat bird seat,” as Red Barber used to say, as he steered the Condor Express around the middle and western Santa Barbara Channel. Conditions were pretty much ideal but with a small bump on the surface. That Santa Barbara cobalt water color with great clarity is still out there.

Things got off to a fast start with our first Humpback whale sighting just 5 miles south of the Harbor.   This animal was moving fast to the west alone, and did not even have any accompanying dolphins. About 40 minutes later as the boat moved further west, we located a very friendly and active herd of 500 or more long-beaked common dolphins. One very persistent male dolphin was trying to mate with just about every female #dolphin in sight…and being rejected accordingly.

Just 20 minutes and a few more miles to the west a small, highly motile hot spot had developed with loads of black-vented shearwaters, 200 additional common dolphins, one more humpback #whale and a very cooperative large Minke whale that actually surfed some of the open ocean swells. Fifteen minutes later (1145 am) we were about 4 miles south of Hope Ranch and were somewhat surrounded by a fairly dispersed group of 5 or more humpback whales.

Two more sightings occurred later in the trip:

1225 pm – 2 more humpback whales and 500 additional common dolphins.

120 pm – 2 more humpback whales and 200 common dolphins.

All of the whales and dolphins appeared to be diving deep with extended bottom times and did not give us any big performances except for the one humpback that did a bit of “kelping.”

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express

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