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A trans-Channel trip yields 8+ humpbacks, 1500 dolphins and a Mola mola.

2019 06-16 SB Channel

It was a wonderful Father’s Day in the Santa Barbara Channel with calm seas, little to no wind and a sky that began overcast and cleared to sun later in the trip. Sightings for the day included 8+ humpback whales, 1500 long-beaked common dolphins, and one ocean sunfish (Mola mola).

There were two groups of whales and dolphins as Captain Dave crossed the Channel and ended up at Santa Cruz Island. The first was about 5 miles out and consisted of two whales and several hundred dolphins. Good looks were had all the way around.

The second group was encountered about 10 miles out. Here there were many individual whales that came together and separated a few times as we watched. Among them we found a mother humpback with her calf. Many more hundreds of dolphins were spread throughout this area, too. While enjoying the cetaceans large and small, a fish caught our attention as it soaked up the solar radiation. It was a large ocean sunfish (Mola mola). We had some nice looks before it took off for deeper waters.

Dave took the Condor Express for a wonderful, sunny tour of the northern sea cliffs of beautiful Santa Cruz Island. His remarks included information about island geology, history, and indigenous people. A trip inside the outer chamber of the Painted Cave was also a highlight.

In the distance were several more whales including the most famous whale of the week. Our “unique feeding” whale was seen, but not closely watched as we had to start heading home.

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

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