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Calm seas result in gray whale mating.

Three gray whales. Photo credit: Bob Perry

Calm seas result in gray whales mating.

The  trip across the Santa Barbara Channel was smooth as silk today and we were lucky today to see gray whale mating.  A few seabirds such as phalaropes and shearwaters were observed mostly resting on the surface.  Later a northern fulmar sitting on the glassy surface would approach the Condor Express as we were whale watching.

The first stop on today’s adventure was the famous Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island.  It was fun to see during a “king tide” high tide today which resulted in no intertidal banding being visible and the Cave looked shorter.

Upon exiting the Cave we ran west to the Santa Cruz Channel which separates Santa Cruz Island and its neighbor Santa Rosa Island.  Here we found a abundance of gray whales migrating south.  In all, we watched 8 gray whales, but a group of 4 that had long surface intervals caught our eye and we stayed with them for quite a while.

Patience and perseverance (and good luck) paid off as the foursome we chose to stay with made great use of the ideal calm seas and proceeded to engage in mating several times.  I shall not outline the rated X stuff here, but will direct you to our web images of the trip which have not been censored.  They’ll be posted sometime tomorrow to

Numerous rafting California sea lions rounded out the experience today.

We have open public trips through the weekend. You never know what Mother Nature will show us next.

Bob Perry CondorExpress

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