Blue whale, 17 humpbacks, and more
The cetacean totals for today’s excursion are:
Blue whale = 1 Humpbacks = 17 (+ more in the distance) Offshore Bottlenose Dolphins = 50 Long-beaked common dolphins = 500
What a day. Captain Eric and the crew found a massive congregation of sub-surface feeding humpback whales on the edge of the 50-fathom drop off straight south of Santa Barbara. There were 17 #whales closely watched with many more in the distance including a few distant breachers. There were tail flukes visible all around the Condor Express throughout the sighting. Common dolphins were also mixed in and feeding.
Our next plan was to head along the southerly course and visit the Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island. This plan was temporarily put on hold as we came into a large pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins. A mother humpback we’ve seen before with an ashy grey tail and her calf were also in this area. The little calf did quite a few tail and body slams close enough for iPhone photography. These large #dolphins were high-flying and doing tricks all around, especially at the bow and in our wake. We finally did make a nice Cave visit which is always a thrill.
Later, near the southbound shipping lane, a huge blue whale with 8 minute down times was watched and enjoyed by all. We continued and passed through the same humpback hot spot on our way back home.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express