A tour of Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Island, lots of marine life and a special interaction between a

2021 06-16 SB Channel

Captain Dave and his crew crossed the Channel and searched along a historically rich summer whale grounds off Santa Cruz Island and Santa Rosa Island. Seas were very calm and skies were hazy. Dave describes a “subtropical air.” The round trip covered more than 75 nautical miles. Sightings included 1 very nice humpback whale, 900 long-beaked common dolphins and 200 offshore bottlenose dolphins. There were only a few California sea lions observed, but as you shall soon read, one was particularly special.

We were just north of The Lanes when the first pod of 500 or more common dolphins located the boat. They were especially nice to watch in the tranquil waters and warm weather. After this encounter, Dave continued along the previously mentioned route before turning northeast for the long trip back home across the Channel.

We were 6 miles or so off UCSB when “eagle eyes” deckhand Devin, aided by his binocular skills, located a playful humpback whale. During our time watching this amazing animal, it slapped its long pectoral fins, rolled around, and swam upside down, and did so repeatedly after each of its fairly short, deeper dives. Then, what could only be described as a “play session” with a frisky California sea lion unfolded. The two interacted and, at one point the furry pinniped was hauled out on top of the whale’s head!

On the way home we watched another pod of common dolphins and were treated to some wonderful sightings of a group of offshore bottlenose dolphins.

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

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