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A Mola mola close up.

2016 04-04 SB Channel

Captain Eric (called “Tim” by some) ran a single excursion today departing Santa Barbara at high noon.  The conditions were spectacular:  sunny, hot, clear blue water, and a glassy surface.  The cetaceans and other wild life were also fantastic.  Here is the story:

We cleared the harbor entrance buoy and all the sea lions around 1214 pm, and by 1230 we were well on our way east to the edge of The Flats.  Second Captain Tasha, who doubled as deck hand but did most of the driving today, spotted spouts way off in the distance.  But we had to slow the Condor Express and take a little break at that point to watch a fairly large ocean sunfish (Mola mola) that was very cooperative and swam over to the boat and looked up at its fans.  The sighting was enhanced by the pretty darn clear blue water.  It is always great to see a Mola mola close up.

Twenty minutes later we slowed down again, this time for 6 long-beaked common dolphins, one of which was a small juvenile swimming with mom.  While communing with the dolphins, we came across a single humpback whale and were checked-out by a medium small Minke whale.  By 100 pm we were southeast of Hogan, in The Flats, and saw humpback whales and Minke whales in all directions  We watched four of the many humpback whales closely as they dove subsurface (to feed ?).  Meanwhile, we crossed through an area that was being worked by at least three very very small Minke whales.  These had to be less than 10 feet each.  Total estimates for the Minke whales was at least 10.  Total estimates for the humpback whales was at least 8.  One Minke whale rolled and lunged horizontally just a few inches beneath the surface.  What a day…starting with that Mola mola and ending with high numbers of whales.

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

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