Seven long beaked common dolphins ride a big blue open ocean wave.
A Bit of Fog? Not a Problem!
A whole bunch of sea faring folks got off the Princess cruise ship and walked directly on to a much smaller Condor Express and headed back out to sea. Aaarrr, Matey ! It was quite foggy as we left Santa Barbara Harbor and we could only see the bow section of the cruise ship anchored just offshore. The fog was thick in spots and thin (almost sunny) in other spots. Later in the trip the whole sky got blue. A Bit of Fog? Not a Problem! The keen eyes of Captain Dave, Deckhand Augie and one of our passengers kept us on the whales and dolphins. Actually, the dolphins seemed to find US, whereas we had to find the whales. In total we watched 3 humpback whales, on of which was (you guessed it) Top Notch. As a coincidence, one of the other whales, a very large one, also had a notch out of its dorsal fin. What are the odds? I don’t know, but we photographed the dorsals and the tail flukes and will send the photos on to Cascadia. Towards the later portion of the adventure, we found a very active hot spot with northern anchovy schools at or near the surface. Sea lions, sea birds and long beaked common dolphins had the bait all balled up. Soon two large hungry humpbacks lunged up from below, sent the birds scattering, and gulped down a huge quantity of anchovy biomass. Three Minke whales joined the feast-in-the-East. One Minke came very close to the starboard bow and was in plain view of all the fans. Another Minke did a long horizontal and high speed lunge just inches below the surface and was very dramatic to witness. At the end we estimated at least 1,800 long beaked common #dolphins for this trip. Another fantastic day on the Santa Barbara Channel was enjoyed by all and the fog did not stop us. I’ll post up the photos sometime tomorrow.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express
on the web: www.CondorExpress.com/blog