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bottlnose

2016 04-14 SB Coast

It was a single morning trip with clear, sunny skies and a very fresh breeze to clear your nostrils and sinus passages while enjoying a coastal cruise along the kelp beds between Santa Barbara Harbor and Campus Point.  The target of our 9 am trip was gray whale mothers and their calves which are starting to show up in slightly greater numbers the past couple of days.  The small craft advisory which was forecast to change to a full gale warning kept us from moving further offshore to the land of the humpback whales.  Breathing clean salty air and enjoying the bright sunlight was enhanced by the previously mentioned breeze, as much as 27.5 knots near the beach, and a moderate by very short interval chop from the western Channel.

Around 940 am we were just passing the Boathouse at Hendry’s and keen-eyed Captain Eric spotted a half dozen inshore bottlenose dolphins between us and the surf.  This group was heading west.  Ten minutes later we were off the western end of Hope Ranch and ol’ eagle eyes Auggie the deckhand located a slightly larger group of the same species heading east.  You guessed it, the two groups were on a collision course and before long they joined up.  There were at least 15 bottlenose dolphins in total, and their initial greeting involved some nice leaping in the surf near the shoreline.

We continued on the prowl for gray whales past UCSB, but the winds kept getting stronger, the seas rougher, and Eric turned back east before we went too far into the IV kelp beds.  The return trip was windy, but we were riding downswell and enjoying the warm solar energy.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express

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