Blue whales everywhere we looked near Santa Cruz Island. Bottlenose AND common dolphins also watched
2020 08-04 SB Channel
Captain Dave returned to the land of the giants that I wrote about in yesterday’s whale report. This big hotspot is located south of The Lanes and off the western end of Santa Cruz Island…near the Painted Cave. Sightings today included: 15+ giant blue whales, 50 offshore bottlenose dolphins, and 800 long-beaked common dolphins. Skies had a high marine layer and seas were calm near the harbor, but once we passed The Lanes, it was sunny and breezy.
A few small and scattered groups of common dolphins located the Condor Express once we were 4 or 5 miles offshore. Further south, 12 miles or so out, larger groups were encountered. At least two more large groups greeted the boat later in the afternoon on our way back home.
The giant blue whales were here in full force again, as they have been for about a month. This is one of those “like it used to be” concentrations of krill-hungry beasts that have, for the most part, been feeding sub-surface. The giants are found in pairs and as singletons. They mix, match and trade partners during their feeding exploits. Several were great flukers, and others showed no fear of the boat and came up close enough for some whale-human eye contact. It is a moment like no other on the planet, in my opinion.
While we were busy tracking and watching the giant blue whales, we noticed many more tall spouts all around the region through the binoculars. Also, at one point, a nice herd of offshore bottlenose dolphins passed through the whale zone and we had quick looks at these larger dolphins.
A moderate breeze wafted across the northern sea cliffs of beautiful Santa Cruz Island. Captain Dave took us on a brief, close up tour of the shoreline. A nice visit to the Painted Cave was part of this tour.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com