2022 08-02 SB Channel
Captain Devin and the crew of the Condor Express had sunny, warm conditions with nearly zero winds today on a trip that took us across the Channel to Santa Cruz Island and all points in between. Sightings included: 1 humpback whale, 1 Minke whale and 2000 long-beaked common dolphins. Hooray! No Mylar balloons were seen today.
Just about a mile south of the breakwater a large, adult Minke whale came fairly close and then stayed in our vicinity for 4 or 5 breathing cycles. Everyone had good looks. Less than a mile south of the Minke, we began seeing small pods of dolphins with 25 or so individuals.
The pod size for these common dolphins increased to the upper hundreds when we moved south of the NOAA East Channel Buoy. We stopped and watched all the action for a while. Soon, a juvenile humpback whale came on the scene as many often do as they let the power of the “sonar vision” possessed by the dolphins to locate and concentrate bait fish so the whale can pass through and gulp down a bunch. This whale had short (2 – 3 min) dive times and had easy-to-follow white pectoral flippers. The whale headed west as we moved southeast.
Oh, one more thing. During the final stages of our whale encounter one of the larger dolphin herds in the area, next to the Condor Express, suddenly took off on a high-speed “stampede” run that lasted about 5 minutes.
Devin ran a nice tour of the western end of Santa Cruz Island, then headed back to the harbor with more dolphins seen along the way.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com