2021 03-19 SB COAST
Skies were clear and winds were nill until the late afternoon. Two public whale watching excursions were conducted today, a morning trip which departed the dock at 9am and a noon trip. Total sightings included 6 gray whales and 14 offshore bottlenose dolphins.
This time of year, one of our most often deployed strategies for locating and watching gray whales consists of heading up the coast from Santa Barbara Harbor, then turning offshore (south) around Goleta/UCSB. Once several miles out, a left turn brings us to an outer search area that parallels the coast running east. All of this, of course, is subject to change if the crew, ever searching with binoculars, sees activity or spouts.
Today we followed this plan and, on the morning trip, encountered our one and only whale about 4 miles out from UCSB. It was a cooperative and regular whale, slowing moving northbound and showing its tail flukes on practically every dive. Soon after the whale was observed we had a small herd of highly active offshore bottlenose dolphins find us…always amazing and fun!
At noon three adult whales were found soon after we left the harbor, around More Mesa. We tagged along at a proper distance and had great looks at this trio all the way up to Goleta Bay. As we moved offshore a pair of whales was also spotted and watched.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com