2020 08-11 Santa Rosa Island
“Blues festival” in full gear: 30 giant blues watched.
Captain Dave ran straight across the Santa Barbara Channel and took advantage of calm sea conditions to explore the land of the giants near beautiful Santa Rosa Island. The following report includes closely-watched encounters: 30+ giant blue whales, 1 fin whale and 500 long-beaked common dolphins. More blue whales were watched today than we’ve seen in several years. The “blues festival” is in full gear.
Three nice groups of common dolphins first located the Condor Express near The Lanes (1 north, 1 in the middle, and 1 south). The smooth sea surface and lack of solar glare yielded wonderful surface and sub-surface looks at these active cetaceans. Per usual, they missed no opportunity to ride our bow, side and stern waves. Spots of additional common dolphins were seen later in the trip.
Near The Lanes, and adjacent to Carrington Point, Santa Rosa Island, the first (long-winded) giant blue indicated we were getting close to the sub-surface feeding epicenter. Dave took the boat from Carrington towards the far western end of Santa Rosa as more and more giants were discovered.
There were periods where 8 or 9 giants were up on the surface simultaneously, and at least 5 were always visible. Spouts were seen in all directions, particularly to the west. Groups of 2 or three or more joined single whales and often synchronized their dive cycles. Photographers were often confused as to where to aim their lenses due to the wide-spread action. In the middle of this huge blue whale gathering, at least 1 fin whale joined the action. Although 30 or more whales were closely watched, many more were on the outskirts of the zone and distant spouts were seen with both the naked eye and using binoculars. Wow!
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com