A nice group of blue whales at Santa Rosa Island, muchos Minkes, and dolphins too!

2020 08-17 Santa Rosa Island

There was a subtropical marine layer, a light breeze and no swell which made for great wildlife locating and viewing. Sightings included: 4+ giant blue whales, 3+ Minke whales and 300 long-beaked common dolphins.

We hit an area with feeding Minke whales about 3 miles south of Santa Barbara Harbor. The first one was quite large (for a Minke) and surfaced close to the boat. We also spent time watching 2 additional Minke whales although there were at least 5 or 6 in the area.

Further south on our course, heading towards the west end of Santa Cruz Island, small scattered pods of common dolphins located the Condor Express. A much larger single pod found us a little later south of The Lanes and adjacent to the island. This larger pod was very boat friendly. After this sighting, Captain Colton altered course to a direct westerly heading along a bottom contour that is typically favored by giant blue whales.

Near Carrington Point, Santa Rosa Island, we first tried to get set up and watch a single, small blue whale. This beast was heading directly west at a steady speed and did not fluke up or spend much time on the surface. Our sharp-eyed crew person, Austin, found a small concentration of additional giants soon thereafter. We watched three of the several whales in that location. Unlike the migratory smaller whale mentioned earlier, the concentrated group was feeding subsurface and showing some nice tail flukes in the process. Additional spouts were seen in the vicinity.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

– – – – – – – – – – – –   – SPECIAL ALL-DAY TRIP: Saturday August 29.

An approximate 8-hour trip to feature the end of summer wildlife of the Santa Barbara Channel will depart SEA Landing, check-in time is 730am for an 8am departure. Destinations are weather-dependent and could include the outer islands of Santa Rosa and San Miguel, and/or the south sides (“backsides”) of the islands. Please follow this link to sign-up:

https://condorexpress.whalewatchreservations.com/cexvouchers/user.php?trip_id=614073

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