Clear skies and a fresh breeze
The fresh breeze which blew from the northwest precluded the Condor Express from returning to the Santa Cruz Island hot spots that we have enjoyed for the past week or two. Not too far out from Santa Barbara Harbor dolphins were visible to the west and watching them leap across the oncoming seas with spray flying all around from the wind was spectacular. Further to the west two spouts were spotted and upon arriving at the scene slowly against the wind and swells, we were fortunate to find a mother humpback whale and her calf. The calf greeted us with a magnificent breach, emphasized and made dramatic by the sea conditions. We had great looks at this pair, until we got ourselves located on an even more massive and spread out herd of long beaked common dolphins. At least 2,000 animals were seen, but it was really impossible to get an accurate count given the waves and spray.
At this point, Captain Dave changed course 180 degrees and we sailed with the winds and seas to the east in hopes of finding more whales off the coast of western Ventura, past the oil rigs. No such luck, although to the east the seas and winds subsided quite a lot, there were no spouts to be found today. We slowly moved back to Santa Barbara Harbor. A special note: regular passengers and readers of this blog know that we stop and put the gaff on mylar balloon debris and remove it from the ocean as a regular habit. Today we spotted a large black lawn and leaf bag on the surface and when deckhand Augie put the gaff on it to haul it out, it weighed a considerable amount. When it finally came on board and was put in a trash barrel, it turned out to be a plastic trash can liner full of oil that some one had dumped into the sea. Such an act is beyond belief.
The forecast is for winds to decline a bit tomorrow. You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express