2021 06-05 SB Channel
It was another glassy day in the Channel with wonderful marine mammal sightings. A high stratus layer kept temperatures moderate and comfy. Captain Dave and the crew crossed the Channel and closely watched: 5 humpback whales, 3000 long-beaked common dolphins and 100 offshore bottlenose dolphins. The crew also retrieved 3 “Happy Graduation” Mylar balloons from the ocean surface to prevent harm to our marine life.
Five miles southwest of the harbor the common dolphin show began as we watched pod after pod with large numbers of individuals feeding on bait balls alongside hundreds of noisy, and hungry, seabirds. We followed the pods west from off Hendry’s Beach to south of UCSB. A single small whale with a brilliant all white tail fluke ventral surface became our first of the day. One mile later a second humpback was closely watched.
Moving south towards the west end of Santa Cruz Island, we entered another productive region near the NOAA East Channel Buoy. At first we were astonished to see how small a single humpback was. After observing this little beast for a while, sure enough, a huge second whale came up and it became apparent that we were seeing a mother-calf pair! A large herd of offshore bottlenose dolphins passed through the area.
Two miles north of western Santa Cruz we had a fast look at our fifth, and final, humpback before we entered The Cave and took a nice tour along the sea cliffs. On the way home another common dolphin pod with about 750 individuals located the boat and surfed the waves all around us.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com