Captain Dave did it again. He took a perfect day on the Santa Barbara Channel with glassy seas, sunny skies and only a moderate swell, and turned it into a magnificent day for cetaceans. Totals for the day include: 1,500 long-beaked common dolphins, 4 giant blue whales, and 1 not-so-giant humpback whale.
A few miles out of the harbor this morning, a nice pod of 300 or so dolphins found the Condor Express and got cozy with us. There were several mothers with calves and the clear blue water and bright sun made for perfect delphies (dolphin selfies).
South of The Lanes the same huge pair of blue whales we’ve been watching for a couple of weeks were out there. Regular readers of my reports will recognize the big whale with the two-tone tail flukes and short down times. Also, during this sighting, that speckled little humpback whale popped up for a short look at the boat. The crew has nicknamed this humpback “Stinky” as it’s spout spray has a more than usual stench factor. I’m glad the whale does not speak English.
The great conditions made for a spectacular cruise along the sea cliffs of beautiful Santa Cruz Island and a trip inside the mouth of the Painted Cave. That moderate swell I mentioned above made things a little washy inside, but Dave is a master of cave penetrations with decades of experience here.
Outside the Cave a mega-pod of at least 1,000 dolphins found the Condor. Glee prevailed. Then, like yesterday, Dave steered a northwesterly course home and before long found the 2 earlier blue whales and 2 more. All had great up times and short downs.
Not far from the Harbor a smaller herd of 200 or so dolphins became the last cetaceans to be seen today.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express