2020 08-22 SB Channel
Giant blue whales today feature mother and calf!
Seas were mirror glass flat and calm. Skies were less smoky than earlier this week, but still a bit hazy from the distant California fires. Captain Colton and his crew ran across the Santa Barbara Channel and ended up paralleling the Santa Cruz Island coastline for about 10 miles. Sightings included: 5+ giant blue whales, 3000 long-beaked common dolphins, 500 short-beaked common dolphins and 1 ocean sunfish (Mola mola).
The long-beaked species of common dolphin prevailed for most of the trip today starting just 3 miles outside Santa Barbara harbor. Small pods near shore gave way to much larger groups as we approached The Lanes. Near the end of the excursion, on the way home, a nice-sized herd of the short-beaked species located the Condor Express. They were more active and aerial demonstrating their high-flying, surfing and tail walking repertoire.
Within The Lanes, and near the eastern portion of beautiful Santa Cruz Island, crewperson Adam spotted the first spout at a distance from the boat. En route to this spout Captain Colton found the second whale, closer to the boat and just coming up to the surface for great looks. Additional whales in the area included a very large female blue whale accompanied by a not-so-tiny-anymore juvenile presumed to be her calf. We spent a lot of time with this cow-calf pair and had wonderful looks as they stayed close together and synchronized their dive cycles.
About this time a large ocean sunfish was located on the surface. This fish was seemingly enjoying the warmth of the sun and was extremely nonchalant about the presence of the Condor. Fantastic looks were had since the glassy water also happened to be very blue and clear.
On the way home the aforementioned short-beaked common dolphins found us enthralled.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com