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August 8, 2016 – Santa Barbara Channel –

It was very windy and bumpy on the outside, but that’s okay since tons of life was to be seen closer to home.  The trip started out a bit overcast and ended with sun caused by the wind blowing the clouds away.   Total sightings for the excursion included: at least 4 humpback whales, more than 2,000 long-beaked common dolphins and hundreds of California sea lions.

An almost endless stream of common dolphins came to the Condor Express starting around the East Channel Buoy (which is really in the mid-Channel).  From this location Captain Eric followed little dolphin-dominated hot spots until our deckhand, “Ojos de águila” Auggie,  sighted the first humpback whale.  It was not long before the strategy of moving from one dolphin spot to the next paid off and we had watched 4 humpback whales with more spouts in the distance.  The third humpback joined up with the first two and, surrounded by dolphins and a mob of California sea lions, cooperatively fed on northern anchovies.  One of the trip slapped its mighty tail a few times, and another humpback whale breached fairly close to the boat.

It was a day full of action enhanced by the moderate wind and seas.  Wow!  The visuals and sounds of all these animals:  sea lions, dolphins, whales, sea birds, was certainly borderline Nat Geo kind of stuff.

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

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