2020 07-15 SB Channel – West
We circumnavigated the western Santa Barbara Channel today and had great looks at 2000 long-beaked common dolphins, 2000 short-beaked common dolphins and 1 Minke whale. It was overcast in the morning and sunny in the afternoon.
For todays report I’m providing a chronology of sightings. So much happened.
1025am – A small pod of long-beaks found us.
1040am – A large group of long-beaks actively hunting and feeding on the surface. Numerous very tiny calves were seen in this pod.
1130am – Near the far northwestern portion of the Channel, the 124ft yacht “Butterfly,” registered in the Marshall Islands, crossed our bow and hailed us on the radio.
1215pm – Two pods of dolphins intersected out course heading and did a bit of surface feeding and a lot of surfing our stern waves
1230pm – We were just north of the eastern end of Santa Rosa Island when a large herd of long-beaks passed through the zone. They were relentless surfers.
1250pm – The first group, a small one, of short-beaks came by the boat, leaping.
100pm – At the northern end of Santa Cruz Channel we watched a rather elusive Minke whale. It had long down times and short surface intervals, but was not too far off the bow.
135pm – Dave gave his interpretation of the pre-history, geology, current ownership and modern concerns of beautiful Santa Cruz Island. This was done as we cruised along the majestic sea cliffs and penetrated the first chamber of the world-famous Painted Cave.
150pm – A mega-pod of short-beaks was watched. It was loaded with high-flyers, tail-walkers, and all around great leapers. Several of the leaps were made by very small calves.
230pm – A very small but active group of short-beaks was observed.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com