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Fabulous conditions and spine-tingling looks at fin whales, a gray whale and lots of dolphins

Image: a pair of fin whales in the Santa Barbara Channel


2024 01-26 SB Channel


Conditions were ideal in the Channel today. Seas were calm. Skies were blue, and all of our in-water sightings were enhanced by the supreme water clarity. The hills and mountains on both sides of the Channel are wonderfully green. Sightings included: 1 gray whale, 3 fin whales and 300 long-beaked common dolphins.


Captain Dave and the crew took a direct southern heading out to The Lanes and back again. On our way out, just 3 miles south of the harbor, we watched a small, perhaps juvenile, gray whale. It was an awesome sighting and following the whale in clear water was almost spine-tingling. It also swam alongside the Condor Express for a while.


Further along on our southerly course, we passe through the Summerland oil rig line. Dave slowed and pointed out various aspects of a typical Santa Barbara Channel oil platform, then continues on course.


On the edge of The Lanes, the far point of today’s trip, we spent quality time watching a trio of very large, adult fin whales. (Fin whales are in the same family as giant blue whales, and are the 2nd largest animals to every live on our planet.)  These beasts had short dive times and long surface/breathing times to further enhance the watch.  It was yet another spine-tingler!


On the return trip and just 2 miles from home, a pod of long-beaked common dolphins located the boat and rode along with us enjoying our wake waves.


You never know what Mother Nature has in store,


Bob Perry,


Condor Express and 

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