Dolphin encounter, big whales and a sea lion mob

A classic fall day with a storm approaching found us sailing along on glassy seas with mostly cloudy but colorful and dynamic skies. Totals for this excursion included:  long-beaked common dolphins = 2,000, blue whale = 1, humpback whales = 2 and a mega-mob of at least 200 California sea lions.

The first dolphin encounter came about 5 miles out from Santa Barbara Harbor with around 100 friendly animals in the group. Moving south to The Lanes, Captain Dave and his crew located the first of two humpback whales.  It was a large adult with medium down times and short surface times.  A bit east of this first whale, deckhand and 2nd Captain for the day, Tasha, located another humpback.  It was smaller than the first and was found logging.  Two hundred or so dolphins were also near this whale.

Dave headed a bit west and got into a mega-pod of around 1,000 dolphins and followed them in the general direction of the world-famous Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island. Taking full advantage of this location, Dave let loose one of his eloquent orations about the island and its cave.  On the way home and not too far from The Cave, a mega-mob of sea lions was observed as they milled around on the surface and then took up high speed porpoising.  More dolphins were around the sea lion mob.

Finally, as our trip home continued and just north of The Lanes, a giant blue whale came up and everyone had great looks at this majestic beast.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express

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