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A huge basking shark, dolphins and lots of giant whales

2018 06-01 SB Channel

With loads of cetaceans, large and small, you’d think the star would be one of the giant blue or fin whales.  Great dolphins and whales for sure today, but the star was a huge basking shark.  Skies were blue, seas were very calm and flat, and the water was clean near Santa Cruz Island…a bit green near the mainland beaches.  Totals for the trip included: 2 fin whales, 6 blue whales, 300 long-beaked common dolphins, and, as you already know, 1 basking shark.

Just outside Santa Barbara Harbor in the morning, a pod of 100 or so dolphins located the Condor Express and rode our bow, side and stern waves.

Further offshore, on both sides of The Lanes, the big whales were found.  The first encounter was with a shy fin whale.  Next we found a very friendly fin whale that made several close passes by the boat.  Then the giant blue whales were found.  They were very cooperative and their blue streaks were seen under the blue water, enhanced by the blue skies and bright sun.

On the way home an additional 200 dolphins came to play.  Finally, just a few miles out from the Harbor, a beastly 25 foot basking shark was found on the surface.  It stayed up and swam gently up and down the side of the Condor.  What a rare opportunity it was to see a huge basking shark so close, and “icing on the cake” for a wonderful wildlife-filled day.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and©

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