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A great day along the coast of Santa Barbara

A great day along the coast of Santa Barbara.

I know.   I know.  We call them “coastal trips” and yet frequently we find ourselves offshore quite a ways for one reason or another.  But today was different.  There was one trip today at noon and we never strayed more than 5 miles or so off the beach and that is certainly where all the life was located.  To start things off we found a vast area of at least one square mile full of long beaked common dolphins.  There were at least 2,000 animals split into three large pods working the same zone.  Elegant terns were squawking and diving all around as this region was full of northern anchovy schools.  Next we moved in and ran along the outer edge of the kelp beds in search of gray whales migrating west.

Out of the kelp emerged a dozen inshore bottle nose dolphins…then a second pod of bottle nose for an approximate total of 20.   The were feeding in and around the giant kelp forest, but did break off and run with the boat, ride the bow, and generally gave everyone on board some fantastic looks at these large gray animals.  After a while the keen eyes of deckhand Augie located a  pair of gray whale yearlings, or medium small sized animals, traveling together.  At first the pair had 9 or 10 minute down times, but after a while they settled in to a regular 4 to 6 minute pattern.  They swam alongside the Condor Express and were very friendly on a couple of breathing cycles.  There was also a third whale just outside of us, but we stayed with the pair.

The best news:  it was sunny and nice all day today. Hope to see you on board at 12noon tomorrow. I’ll have today’s photos posted up before the weekend.

Bob Perry Condor Express

Two coastal bottle nose dolphin. photo: Bob Perry

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