20221 04-17 SB CHANNEL
Captain Colton took the helm and guided three public whale watching trips into the middle of the Santa Barbara Channel with great success. His success was aided by the wonderful clear, blue skies and calm seas. Sightings for the day included: 1 blue shark, 15 coastal bottlenose dolphins, 18+ humpback whales, 2 gray whales and 100 California sea lions. Our neck of the Channel is rich with large bait ball aggregations of northern anchovies and this always brings the humpback whales.
About 4 miles out of the harbor the morning trip scored a great session with a mother humpback with her tiny calf. The next stop was a bit west where we watched a trio of humpbacks interacting with several dozen sea lions. Moving further offshore we watched another cow-calf humpback pair. The calf got friendly and at one point swam under the boat and appeared to flush out a blue shark that was lurking between our hulls. This cannot be proven, but it is an interesting coincidence at minimum. A short trip further west yielded 2 adult humpbacks.
At noon Colton and his crew spotted a mother gray whale with her calf around More Mesa and followed the pair at a safe distance all the way up to the Goleta Pier. Moving outside we relocated one of the cow-calf humpback pairs and an additional trio of humpbacks, all surrounded by sea lions.
The afternoon excursion moved out and relocated the trio seen earlier in the day with sea lions, and had great looks. Soon an additional 4 humpbacks moved in and joined the trio and one of the larger whales threw its massive tail several times for all to see. The last sighting of the day was a pod of coastal bottlenose dolphins close to Leadbetter Beach.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com