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August 4, 2016 – Santa Barbara Channel –

Captain Dave found flat, calm seas with high stratus that broke to full sunshine in the afternoon. He ran the Condor Express east again and found very fertile grounds. Sightings today included: 1 giant blue whale, 2 Minke whales, 3 humpback whales and, of course, at least 500 long-beaked common dolphins.

The first sighting location was north of The Lanes, but towards the east end of Santa Cruz Island.   Here the first humpback whale was watched. It had moderately short down times and did fluke-up quite often. Also in this zone a few hundred dolphins were seen with lots of sea bird action in the skies above. One of the interesting things about this spot was the appearance of two Minke whales swimming side-by-side chasing around at high speeds. Were they feeding? Is this some kind of social ritual?

The second hot zone was south of The Lanes and into Anacapa Passage. Here two more humpback whales were located and one giant blue whale. The blue whale had 8 – 9 minute down times and did the usual circling behavior when it was up. The skin of this blue beast was festooned with small Remora…well above average (whatever that is).

On the way home several additional pods of common dolphins found the boat and played around, riding bow, side and stern wake.

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

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