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An epic day with a high diversity of marine mammals

2017 07-08 SB Channel

Once again Captain Dave and his crew worked both sides of the Santa Barbara Channel to come up with some epic sightings:  4 Minke whales, 4 humpback whales, 1 fin whale, 2 blue whales and 350 long-beaked common dolphins.  Again, sea conditions were fantastic.

The first Minke whale sighting took place just a couple of miles out from Santa Barbara harbor.  It was a cooperative animal and everyone had good looks.  A few dozen dolphins were also scattered around this area which was north of the Carpinteria oil rig line.

Around 100 additional dolphins and a single humpback whale were sighted between the oil rigs and Platform Habitat.  Smooth, clear, blue water and sunny skies added to the experience.  Dave continued to take the Condor Express on a southerly track.  Soon a few hundred more dolphins, two humpback whales and two more Minke whales were located across a mile or so of ocean.

As the boat headed for the eastern end of Santa Cruz Island a fourth Minke whale was spotted.  Closer to the island, a very friendly fin whale was encountered.  We have had a few different individual fin whales over the past three days. (Correction to yesterday’s report regarding the fin whales seen Thursday and Friday being the same…they were not).  This week’s fin whales have each been exceedingly friendly, but today’s fin was super…again this sighting was enhanced by the great water clarity.

Moving west, we watched two single giant blue whales.  One of the whales had a tracking tag.  The Oregon State University R/V Pacific Storm is studying blue whales in our area.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express

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