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A voyage to the far western Channel pays dividends!

Image: Nautical chart showing our track to the far west today.

2023 08-04 SB Channel West

Skies were sunny and bright all day. There was no wind until we were heading home and it was on our stern. A moderate west bump from overnight conditions kept things rolling for a while until it laid down. The water clarity out west was phenomenal…that deep, Santa Barbara cobalt blue. Sightings were great: 1800 long-beaked common dolphins, 4 humpback whales, 150 California sea lions and 1 ocean sunfish (Mola mola).

There was not much marine life on the 21-mile trek to the waters near Platform Hondo. Captain Dave did stop at Platform Holly which was in our direct path. (See today’s image). Our first sighting, just west of Hondo, was a small pod of dolphins and 1 whale. The whale was in travel mode, taking a single breath then travelling along 10 or 15 feet below the surface.

A bit further along we encountered a group of 3 whales that seemed to be circling around and diving to feed on sub-surface schools of fish. In the process of circling, they made several passes close to the Condor Express. There were plenty of active seabirds in the area and a large mob of California sea lions. The sea lions did a bit of porpoising to keep up with the dolphins and birds.

Nearby we watched a small ocean sunfish (Mola mola) that hung out a foot beneath the surface for all to get good looks.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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