2021 09-25 SB Channel – 8hr Trip
Today we ran our second 8-hour whale watching expedition of the late summer/early fall season and, similar to the last one, it was spectacular. Seas were very calm and windless all day. Sightings included: 20+ humpback whales, 1 giant blue whale, 8 offshore bottlenose dolphins, 4000 long-beaked common dolphins, 200 short-beaked common dolphins, and 200 California sea lions (not including hundreds more on the beaches of San Miguel Island).
Captain Dave and the crew started the day by taking the Condor Express southeast and stopped in The Lanes, adjacent to Potato Harbor on Santa Cruz Island. This was the first hot spot of the day. The area was rich with long-beaked common dolphins, seabirds and sea lions all actively feeding subsurface. We watched a total of 8 humpback whales here with many more spouts in the distance. One of the whales breached nearly 100% out of the water while fairly close to the Condor.
We moved west to what has been a productive area for the past month. There we found another active hot spot, similar to the first one, and watched an additional 12 humpback whales with more in the area. The feeding action was unstoppable, and many whales surfaced close to the boat oblivious to our presence.
We continued to press west along the coast of Santa Rosa and San Miguel Island. Dave gave a close up tour of the northern shore of San Miguel with coves containing elephant seals and sea lions on the shore. As we were about to enter beautiful Cuyler Harbor, crew member Kelly spotted the tall spout of a giant blue whale a mile or more away. We arrived on the scene and got great looks at this beast through several breathing cycles before it left the area and headed west. During the search for this blue whale a small pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins was seen for a few quick moments.
Cuyler Harbor was, as usual, spectacular with its pristine white sandy beach and more pinnipeds.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com