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Blue whales

Image: A giant blue whale in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2023 08-10 SB Channel

A high to mid-level stratus layer kept things cool but did not drop to the deck. Our local waters were both very calm and very clear again today. Sightings included: 2 giant Blue Whales and 2000 Long-Beaked Common Dolphins. The crew also removed the dangerous floating remains of a former Mylar balloon from the ocean surface.

Things started out pretty much like many of our recent days with a nice group of dolphins just south of the Kelp Farm. Today we had a nursery pod and the calves were frisky and amazing. We kept moving to an area south of the NOAA East Channel Buoy and into The Lanes. Our friend, photographer and former deck hand, Anna, spotted a rather tall spout in the distance. Upon arriving on the scene, the spout belonged to a Blue Whale. It was an adult whale but not fully grown. It’s been a while since we’ve had blue whales passing through our neck of the Channel.

Soon a second whale popped up. Both blue whales were moving east at 5 knots with 6 min down times and 4 breaths per breathing cycle. We had close looks but sadly, no tail flukes were kicked-up today. The sighting was greatly enhanced by the crystal-clear water.

Further west we watched numerous medium-sized pods of dolphins and nabbed one balloon.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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