There was a low marine stratus layer which kept things nice and gray all day, plus a medium chop on the surface to make life interesting. The Condor Express ran two trips today: one at noon and one at 3 PM. Totals for the day and included seven humpback whales and 500 long-beaked common dolphins. But those numbers do not tell the whole story! On the morning trip, Captain Dave and the crew headed directly to a spot 5 miles southwest of platform Holly. The first encounter was with a mother whale and her tiny calf. While we enjoyed watching this pair of whales, a big pod of dolphins, chasing a big ball of bait, and surrounded by diving seabirds, passed through the area. They surrounded the boat as they passed by. Later we found two additional humpbacks; they were adults.
The 3 o’clock trip returned to the hotspot southwest of Holly and initially encountered two adult whales. We watch them for a while and then turned around to slowly head in the general direction the harbor. When we were about 3 miles south of Goleta Bay we encountered a single, very small whale that was breaching in the distance. It kept breaching as we approached. It also continued breach as we watched the animal for 45 minutes. The breaching was interspersed with pectoral fin slapping and lobtailing and a lot of rolling around. The little beast continue to bridge even as we pulled away and had to make tracks quickly to get back to the harbor…running a little late as we did. But it was worth it! You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com