2016 05-01 SB Coast
Six gray whales, 1 fin whale, and 100 dolphins was our total cetacean count for the day. It was a hazy sunny day with light chop on the water. Captain Eric and his crew ushered two afternoon excursions today, and here are the details:
12 noon Eric steered a course to the west along the kelp beds and quickly located the most active pair of gray whales seen today. It was a cow-calf pair, playing in the kelp forest. There were dozens and dozens of spy-hops, as well as rolling, tumbling and what looked like a calf playground session. The Condor Express stayed in the same spot for at least 20 minutes as this pair was in the kelp and they made no attempt at any migratory progress during that time. A bit further west a second cow-calf pair was located and they were, by contrast, all about heading to Alaska.
Moving offshore to look for dolphins, we ran the 50 fm line east and quickly located a medium-sized fin whale. It had 8 to 10 minute down times, but spent quality time on the surface and was not shy around the boat. It was a solid sighting of the second largest animal on Earth.
3 pm The only pair of gray whales on this trip was located outside the kelp and actively migrating west. We started watching at Blue House and left them just shy of the Gaviota Pier. Once again Eric ran the 50 fm line east and did, indeed, locate dolphins on this trip. It was a tightly-packed pod of at least 100 long-beaked common dolphins and we watched them surf our wake for 15 minutes until it was time to go home.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express
PS Only one week left to enjoy coastal whale watching. On May 9th we change over to 4½-hour island whale watch trips.