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Encounters with humpbacks and dolphins.

2019 05-19 SB Coast

The morning rain miraculously stopped at the moment the Condor Express pulled away from the docks and headed into the Santa Barbara Channel. Although skies remained mostly cloudy, seas were calm and sightings were delightful. Today’s counts include 6 humpback whales and 1000+ long-beaked common dolphins.

We found the first whale with an entourage of several hundred dolphins about 4 miles south of UCSB. We watched both species for a while until a second whale popped up to the surface…with even more dolphins. Sea birds and sea lions were also abundant and appeared to be feeding heavily in the zone.

After a short run to the east we ended up watching 2 different humpback cow-calf pairs which were about ½ mile apart and, you guessed it, mixed in with hundreds more dolphins. Both mothers were huge. One calf was much smaller, and more active, than the other. It was seen rolling around and trying to rub against mom, perhaps soliciting lactation. It also breached at a distance from the boat as we came into the area. More spouts were seen in the area but we did not have time to approach.

On the way home we passed by several of the nearshore oil platforms and Captain Dave provided excellent background information about these “skyscrapers of the sea.”

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry Condor Express, and

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