2016 07-02 SB Channel
Captain Dave located three major activity zones on a southwesterly course heading out of Santa Barbara. The day was spectacular, starting with a light breeze from the east and then quickly dying out to very calm seas. No fog!
The first zone was only a short distance out from the harbor entrance. Here we located a group of about 300 long-beaked common dolphins with 4 humpback whales. The group was traveling west together but good looks were had by all. Dave continued on his course to the south west.
Near The Lanes a “mother lode” of humpback whale activity was encountered. Here there were many small pockets of northern anchovies and feeding was the order of the day. The Condor Express legitimately watched 10 humpbacks, but at least 5 or 6 more were close to this zone. There were several breaches and some pectoral fin slaps observed during this sighting. After a solid time with the knobby-headed beasts we continued our line to the SW.
North of Santa Cruz Island we moved along The Ledge where krill has been swarming since June 1. Five krill-eating giant blue whales were observed at this hot spot, with others within binocular range. One of the blue whales was Camello (the camel), a super large whale with a huge concavity behind its head and forward of the dorsal fin. We saw this whale on July 1, 2015 and again just a couple of days ago. When it was first recorded in Mexican waters it was christened Camello. Also in this zone along The Ledge were two very big fin whales who may have also been attracted by the krill. Krill was not on the surface today, but recent and frequent sightings of red feces suggests krill is the dominant prey species at this time and place. It was especially fun to see fin whales and blue whales together: the largest and second largest animals on Earth!
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express