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4 humpbacks, 1 shows serious flipper action. Dolphins too…

2021 07-01 SB Channel

The July gloom layer vanished as the Condor Express reached beautiful Santa Cruz Island and the Painted Cave. Seas were glass flat and the water was that crystal clear “Santa Barbara cobalt.” We were closely watched by 4 humpback whales, 2 offshore bottlenose dolphins and 1000 long-beaked common dolphins.

Not quite in the middle of the Channel, about 7 miles southeast of UCSB, the common dolphin pods arrived. They ranged in size from initial pods of 10, to more robust groups of 100 or more. Seabirds were also active alongside the dolphins. Before long the whales arrived!

Two individual whales about a mile away from each other got really good looks at us. Soon thereafter two more individuals sighted us. One of the later whales mugged us and gave a firsthand demonstration of its exuberance and power by raising and slapping its very long pectoral flippers right next to the boat, similar to what is shown in my photograph above.

Two large offshore bottlenose dolphins also visited the Condor Express.

After the sun broke through and we toured the island and cave, more and more dolphins found joy by riding our bow, side and stern waves.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

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