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Another fabulous day – blue whales, humpback whales, dolphins.

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2017 06-21 SB Channel

We had another fabulous day in the Santa Barbara Channel with great wildlife sightings, including: 8 blue whales, 7 humpback whales and 1,000 long-beaked common dolphins. Light winds near the shore quickly increased to a stiff breeze as we pushed south towards the Santa Cruz Island feeding grounds. It was bright and sunny all day…perfect for watching cetaceans.

Just outside the red and white Santa Barbara Harbor entrance buoy we found one hundred or so dolphins feeding in small, wide-spread, groups. Most were marauding groups of two or three and were feeding upside-down, slashing the water. We continued on our southerly track.

Just west of the oil rig line there were a few small hot spots full of dolphins, California sea lions and birds. Three humpback whales were in there feeding too. Rope and her calf were there, along with a solo whale. There were nearly 1,000 dolphins total, including all the small hot spots together. Before long 4 more humpbacks came in to join the morning feed.

Captain Dave took it slow and easy as the strong breeze with its swells was coming in steady on our starboard quarter. He is alert and agile and is a master of creating as smooth a ride as possible. At the island we found deep blue water, abundant white caps, and sharp panoramic views of the northern face of Santa Cruz Island. This is where we find our blue whales. Today, eight giants were located in the area and watching their super tall spouts turned into smoke by the breeze was spectacular. Likewise watching the whales bust through the waves, and seeing their blue color within the face of each wave, is just about as good as it gets for wildlife lovers. It was, indeed, another fabulous day.

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

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