4000 dolphins plus 6 humpback whales
2020 10-21 SB Channel
Captain Dave and his crew reported calm and glassy seas with gray skies all day due to a high stratus marine layer, except for a brief break out at Fry’s Harbor. Nonetheless, wonderful sightings were had by all: 6 humpback whales and 4000 long-beaked common dolphins.
As you probably figured out from the species counts, the dolphins were all over the channel today in large numbers. They were especially active in hot spots where sea birds, dolphins and humpback whales congregated around northern anchovy bait balls.
Our first whale encounter included a group of 5 animals located in The Lanes off the middle of Santa Cruz Island. The beasts appeared to be feeding sub-surface and did not stray far from each other or the hot spot. A single whale breached as we approached this zone from a distance. Otherwise, nice tail flukes were seen.
Dave took a peak at beautiful Fry’s Harbor on Santa Cruz Island and talked about the Island itself and Fry’s in particular. He does a concise job of melding the geography, prehistory, endemic species, environmental issues and the role Fry’s played in the history of the City of Santa Barbara. By coincidence, the northern face of the island was the only sunny place we could find today.
On the way home we found our 6th whale about 5 miles south of Santa Barbara Harbor.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com