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Blue whales! Humpback whales! A fin whale! Dolphins!

2020 09-24 SB Channel

As you loyal readers know, things have been pretty wild out here for the last month or two, every day being filled with giant blue whales and loads of dolphins too. But today things “were off the charts”. Sightings included: 3 giant blue whales, 1 juvenile fin whale, five humpback whales, and approximately 3000 long-beaked common dolphins. Oh boy! What a day. The first 90 minutes was a battle with near zero visibility, down to the water, dense fog. Seas were glassy all day. When we finally reached the land of the giants, the fog backed-off and we were in bright, sunny conditions for the rest of the excursion.

Let’s start off today’s report with major kudos to our 2nd Captain, Colton…aka, Boat Colton. He took a few vacation days off and it absolutely refreshed his already very sharp eyes. Not only did he spot the giant blue whales at an amazing distance, but later he repeated with almost all the initial humpback whale first sightings. Now on to the story.

Scattered small pods of dolphins located the Condor Express around 1115am. There were numerous surface schools of bait fish and the dolphins were pre-occupied with upside-down feeding. This is always an amazing sight. They don’t catch every single fish they chase, but they are successful quite a lot. Later we’d see countless additional small groups, some feeding, some mating. In the afternoon, amidst the humpback whales, there were at least 2 megapods with about 1000 individuals each.

About a hour after the start of the blue whale portion of the trip. A strange, medium-small, dark whale with a tall dorsal fin broke the surface 3 times and then moved on. At first we thought it was a large Minke, but Captain Dave proposed it was, instead, a very small fin whale. Great to see on this glassy surface!

As we attempted to slowly motor out of the land of the giants and head home, as previously mentioned, Colton spotted several breaches in the distance. It had to be at least 8 miles ahead of the boat. We closely-watched 5 individual humpbacks, but more spouts were seen around the zone.

A final shout out to 3 CINC naturalists that definitely picked the right day to come out as “citizens” and see all the cetaceans they’ve missing since the COVID19 lock down. Hooray for Carolyn M, Debbie F, and Marilyn D!

Special 8+ hour trip this Saturday 2020 09-26

As most of you know by now, we are going to be running our second all-day whale watching excursion of the 2020 summer/fall season this Saturday, September 26. We’ll depart SEA Landing promptly at 8am and return sometime after 4pm.

Longer trips give us more time to spend with the marine life. For example today there were 10 giant blue whales in the area, and we only watched six because we ran out of time. Also, longer trips allow us to explore new areas… perhaps even some of the outer islands that we don’t usually visit on our 4 ½ hour trips. (We will follow Mother Nature in terms of weather and marine life to guide our actual route and destinations).

A special, free “Big Bird (Condor Express) Special Raffle” will be held with all passengers eligible (did I mention it’s free?). Among the prizes: free lunches at Condor Café, free digital photo packages of the trip by Adam Ernster, and…free trip tickets (for our standard 4 ½ hour excursions…value $109).

Seating is limited due to the COVID-19 virus restrictions, so I encourage you to sign up now enjoy all the marine life that day, see the Santa Barbara Channel sights, and perhaps even win a raffle. Sign up online: www.condorexpress.com

I’ll be on board and I hope to see you…

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

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