Drop dead gorgeous conditions with plenty of cetaceans.
41 Malibu High School biology student hit the jackpot with gorgeous conditions and tons of marine life today on the 9am and 12 noon adventures. It was warm in Santa Barbara and there was no wind at all when we first left the docks and headed west. The glass flat conditions were in effect all the way up to Campus Point and beyond. At first we followed a single gray whale…a small one….all by itself. Then we spotted a nice gray whale mom and her calf and had some really really nice looks at this pair. After we had this encounter we noticed that the big, grey coastal bottlenose dolphins were active in Goleta Bay again, as they were earlier this week. These large dolphins slowly paraded around the boat and looked up at the humans. A trio of adults showed off a rather large calf. The water was clear and the whole situation was very magical. We ended the morning trip with 3 gray whales and the 20 bottlenose dolphins.
At noon we again ran up the coast. Conditions were still great but there was a merciful slight west breeze to help cool our hot bodies off. Relief ! A rather large arc shaped course first took us a few miles outside in search of dolphins or other species of whales. Here we found a big scattered pod of long beaked common dolphins that, per usual, played on the bow and rode the wake waves. Continuing on the next leg of the arc we ended up in Goleta Bay again, and to our amazement, the big pod of bottlenose dolphins was still there !! After the bottlenose dance we slowly made our way back towards Santa Barbara Harbor, only to find a nice and very cooperative gray whale mom and calf. The little calf did an unusual thing twice in a row. It lifted its head out of the water while still moving ahead full speed ahead. The mouth was closed and further examination of the behavior through digital images revealed the mouth was closed and the little guy was, perhaps, just having a good look around. Another magical thing to have seen.
There were numerous active large flocks of elegant terns all around us, all day.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express