Sunday, August 28, 2016 – A quick note regarding Saturday’s all-day, annual American Cetacean Society excursion. Sightings included a couple of humpback whales in the Santa Barbara Channel, several hundred pelagic bottlenose dolphins, thousands of both short- and long-beaked common dolphins, and, the Pièce de résistance, 8 or 10 giant blue whales located in pelagic waters well south of San Miguel Island. Now, onward to the present day.
Totals for Sunday included 5 humpback whales and at least 2,500 long-beaked common dolphins. The day began with hazy sun, no wind and a very light bump on the water. Later, and further offshore, conditions became more robust.
The first cetaceans to find the Condor Express were along the 50 fathom contour and consisted of several hundred dolphins moving east. They rode our bow, side and stern wake and several small calves were in the group. Further offshore, north of The Lanes, the first two humpback whales popped up. In fact, they followed a pattern of 7 minute down times, then surfaced within a few feet of the boat multiple times. The “leader” was our old pal, Top Notch.
The final sightings were made on a great hot spot located inside the southbound Lane. Here there were thousands of sea birds, sea lions, dolphins and three closely watched additional humpback whales. Many more spouts were all around this area…the problem of “so many whales, so little time.” No blue whales today, but the other species were fantastic.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express.