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Blue sky, blue water, blue whale…plus humpback, Risso’s, commons…

2021 06-22 SB Channel

Clear blue and sunny skies prevailed across the entire Channel today. The above water vistas were magnificent with all 4 islands and the entire mainland coast clearly in view. Seas were calm, glassy near shore, fresh breeze as we moved offshore. Once offshore the water was crystal clear. Closely watched species included 1+ humpback whale, 1 giant blue whale, 30 Risso’s dolphins and 400 long-beaked common dolphins.

The first small pods of common dolphins located us just 20 minutes from the dock and were around all day. No mega pods, but loads of active, boat-friendly and (some) feeding groups were busy surfing our waves.

As we crossed into the southern half of the Channel, about 7 miles off the western region of beautiful Santa Cruz Island, our deckhand and spotter-in-chief, Devin, brought us near a young humpback whale. The clear water allowed great views of this animal including its long white pectoral fins. We followed it for a nice period of time and, at one point, it stopped momentarily to do a bit of kelping. Common dolphins also came through as we were with the humpback.

About a half hour later and further west, Devin pulled out another whale at a considerable distance. This time it was The Giant! A majestic blue whale! It had 7 or 8 minute down times and loads of great surface spouting in its breathing cycle. (Blue skies, blue water blue whale…repeat).

After leaving the giant blue whale, we almost immediately spotted more blue in the water. This time it was the blueish glow from about 30 Risso’s dolphins. The Risso’s were in a tight formation and stayed near the boat for some splendid looks.

On the way home, we passed by another humpback a few miles off Arroyo Burro, but did not have time to deviate from our homeward course.

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

Condor Express, and


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