2020 08-21 Santa Barbara Channel
Skies were smoky again today, consistent with all the fires going on across California. There was a breeze out past The Lanes, and a small chop on the surface resulted from it. The “land of the giants” moved to the east end of Santa Cruz Island today. The following were reported: 3 giant blue whales and 1500 long-beaked common dolphins. The crew also saw a single ocean sunfish (Mola mola), but it quickly sank out of view.
Scattered small dolphin pods started to locate the Condor Express as we headed southeast past the Summerland oil rigs. There were plenty of small bait balls and a lot of feeding seabirds as well as hungry dolphins. It was fun to see! Later, at the start of our blue whale sighting, a mega pod of nearly 1000 dolphins came through the zone.
Near the east end of Santa Cruz Island, and smack-dab in the middle of The Lanes, we watched all 3 giants. One of them, a medium-sized blue whale, demonstrated an interesting dive pattern. Frequently its dives were short, only 2 or 3 minutes each, followed by a short surface breathing time…one or two breaths. Following the quick surface breaths the whale took off and dove again on a high-speed run, horizontally. This seemed to be its deeper or terminal dive.
On the way home a few more small pods of dolphins rode our waves.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com