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Brilliant conditions and epic sightings in the far west.

Image: a breaching humpback whale seen close up to reveal ventral grooves and water flow.

2023 08-12 SB Channel - West

Our trip up to the gorgeous western was smooth and the water was clear. Sightings included: 7 humpback whales, 3500 long-beaked common dolphins and 200 California sea lions.

About 3 miles off Goleta Pier the dolphins began to show up. It was a day full of scattered pods, some large, some small. When we were running along at cruising speed and the dolphins spent a lot of quality time ring our bow, side and stern wake waves.

The move to a hot spot south of Holly ended up bring us great looks at 4 humpback whales in an area full of sea birds, dolphins and California sea lions. Half of the whales had white pectoral fins which made following them easy in the crystal clear cobalt blue water. The first white-pecs whale got active and breached close to the boat, then again 4 or 5 more times a bit further from our hulls. It also threw its tail around and did one giant vertical feeding lunge, again, close to the Condor Express. The whales came together for a while then split up and went their merry ways.

We saw at least 3 additional whales spouting within easy binocular range. On the way home we saw more hot spots. One of these spots deserves recognition for hosting a legitimate birdnado.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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