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6 humpbacks and a giant blue

Image: The area of greatest activity was just north of Santa Cruz Island, south of The Lanes.

2024 06-05 SB Channel.

Captain Dave and the crew ran towards the western end of a beautiful Santa Cruz Island today. Skies were lightly overcast in the morning, but there were sunny spots when we got near thr island. The surface was mirror glass. Sightings for the day included: 300 common dolphins, 1 Ocean sunfish (Mola mola), 1 giant blue whale, and 6+ humpback whales.

About 1 mile south of the harbor, we stopped to take a quick look at a very large Ocean sunfish (Mola mola) that was resting on the surface. Everyone had great looks at this very unique fish. We continued South.

On the edge of The Lanes we begin to work our way slowly through a long, spread-out, pod of common dolphins. Most were preoccupied with hunting in small groups, but occasionally a group would come over and ride the bow of the Condor Express. The choice between feeding and having fun is often difficult for a dolphin. 

Nearby we came upon a giant blue whale. It was truly a large individual, and it was spending very little time on the surface. It was motoring at a steady speed to the west, and only breathing twice when it came up.

South of The Lanes (see today’s image courtesy of, we found 6 humpback whales. We watched 2 different mother-calf pairs, plus 2 more individual small whales.  The calves did a bit of rolling around next to their mothers. By the way, we’ve seen both of these calves recently: one is very loaded-up with barnacles, and the other has a pure white tail with a border around it. There were many more spouts and tail flukes visible in the near distance.

On the way back to the Harbor, the crew retrieved one deflated, floating, Mylar balloon from the ocean surface.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. 

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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Jun 09

Outstanding action-packed day on the Channel starting with 19 Harbor Seals arranged head to head in two rows on the bait dock with the spade between them filled in with an assortment of cormorants, pelicans and Black-crowned Night Herons. Mola mola lazed at the surface for over a minute presenting a visual enigma. Medium pod of over 300 Common Dolphins were scattered over a mirror glass sea. A giant BLUE Whale emerged on the edge of this pod. Captain Dave maintained contact with the fast-moving BLUE with several close looks but no flukes. Humpback blows were silhouetted against the emerald green of Santa Cruz island. Cow-calf pairs traveled in touchingly close proximity with an escorting juvenile that might hav…


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