First sighting of whale that was rescued on June 6, right side view. Bob Perry – www.CondorExpressPhotos.com
First sighting of a humpback whale that was rescued on June 6, left lateral view. Bob Perry – www.CondorExpressPhotos.com
Dolphins, dolphins, dolphins (3 species) and a very special Humpback Whale !
Right off the dime in the entrance to Santa Barbara Harbor we found a nice pod of 25 or so inshore bottlenose dolphins. They alternated between foraging in the surf zone and riding the bow of the Condor Express. Eat or play? …an age old dilemma. One of the large bottlenose #dolphins breached several times very close to the boat. Not long after leaving the surf zone and the big bottlenose, we started finding the “stepping stone” pods of long beaked common dolphins. Herd of these little cetaceans, most were either in travel mode or feeding on anchovy schools, we distribute like steps along our migratory route to the southwest. Soon the path of the common dolphins resulted in a fantastic sighting of a single humpback whale. And what a whale it was ! We were extremely fortunate to have Captain Dave Beezer on board today, because he immediately recognized this humpback whale as being the very same individual that the team he worked with had disentangled from a spotted prawn trap rope. You may revisit the story of this adventure if you look back in my blog postings to June 8, 2014, not quite a month ago. This was the first time the rescued whale has been seen since it was cut free of the line that had it hog-tied. From what we could tell, the whale is doing fine, swimming fast and covering a lot of territory. We’ll make my photographs from today (see www.CondorExpressPhotos.com sometime tomorrow) available to the experts who can determine its actual status. But there you have it…the odds of encountering this animal again by the same boat that initially found it and the same Captain that helped to free it. Wow.
Next we ran over and paid a visit to the world famous Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island and took a look inside its 1,400 foot long cavity. (It’s pretty dark in there so we could not see more than a few hundred feet into it). After the cave we found a nice herd of 50 or so Risso’s dolphins. We spent some time with these unusual and spectacular animals and it was fun to see them, as well as all the animals today, in such crystal clear blue water as we’ve been having this week. On our way back to Santa Barbara, there were even more common dolphin pods, and we really took a guess at a total of 3,000 for the day.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express