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Another sunny tour of the far western Channel pays mammal dividends

Image: A wonderful day for bathing in giant kelp, if you are a humpback.

2023 08-05 SB Channel West

Sunny, no wind, bumpy with great water clarity and lots of marine life in the far western Channel. We closely watched: 1 humpback whale, 1 Minke whale, and 2500 long-beaked common dolphins.

Although it is always spectacular to cruise along the far western coast, west of Goleta and into the general Gaviota area. But it is ever more so beautiful with bright sunlight, as it was all day today.

Sightings kicked off just 2 miles southwest of the harbor as a mega pod of more than 1000 dolphins located the Condor Express. We had great looks and then continued on our long journey west.

Past Platform Holly and Naples Reef, we found a nice hot spot about 8 miles off El Capitan. Multiple small pods of dolphins were all around as were their feathered entourage. A lone Minke whale patrolled the perimeter and we had a few nice looks as it surfaced a few times prior to disappearing. A wonderful sub-adult humpback was in the area. We had good looks as it moved slowly east. At one point, it stopped to enjoy a “spa session” with a nice chunk of detached, floating giant kelp (see today’s photo for an example). This is one of nature’s wonders and delightful for all to witness, especially with blue skies and even bluer clear water.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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