2020 08-16 SB Channel
Captain Colton and his team ran across the Channel towards yesterday’s giant blue whale sightings at Santa Cruz Island. The giants had moved and so did the Condor Express, heading further west until the “land of the giants” was again found off the middle of Santa Rosa and south of The Lanes. Totals for the trip included: 3 giant blue whales, 50 offshore bottlenose dolphins, 2000 long-beaked common dolphins and 500 short-beaked common dolphins. The initial morning marine stratus layer quickly gave way to sunny skies, calm seas and clear blue “Santa Barbara cobalt” water.
On our morning route towards Santa Cruz Island, our first group of cetaceans was a very excited, highly aerial pod of short-beaked common dolphins. Captain Colton reports that several of these little acrobats leaped over 20 feet into the air. Cousins of the “shorties,” the long-beaked species, showed up not long afterwards and continued to appear throughout the remainder of the excursion.
After a lengthy but beautiful trek from mid-Santa Cruz to mid-Santa Rosa, with amazing sunny views of both islands, a single giant blue was spotted via its broad tail fluke in the air. We watched for a while and moved nearby to a pair of blues (one large, one small) that dove and surfaced in synchrony. The big one showed off its tail flukes repeatedly. The pair also had lengthy, 10 – 15 breath, surface intervals, making for great observations and selfies.
Not long after we slowly broke away from the giants and started our trek home, a wonderful pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins came to the boat and ran with us at speed (18 knots). Loads of high-flying leaps took place as these dolphins leaped over our side and stern wake waves.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com – – – – – – – – – – – – –
SPECIAL ALL-DAY TRIP: Saturday August 29.
An approximate 8-hour trip to feature the end of summer wildlife of the Santa Barbara Channel will depart SEA Landing, check-in time is 730am for an 8am departure. Destinations are weather-dependent and could include the outer islands of Santa Rosa and San Miguel, and/or the south sides (“backsides”) of the islands. Please follow this link to sign-up: