Fog does not deter great cetacean sightings

2018 03-29 SB Coast

Captain Dave and the Condor Express crew ushered three excursions along the coast of Santa Barbara today.  Sea conditions were great, but fog plagued the morning trip, lifted a bit for the noon trip, and was completely gone by the afternoon departure.  Totals for the entire day included: 7 gray whales, 14 inshore bottlenose dolphins and 500 long-beaked common dolphins.

Bottlenose dolphins located the Condor Express along the beach, near the Yacht Club, to get the morning trip off to a good start.  Fortunately, fog does not interfere with good sightings when dolphins are swimming alongside the boat.  We followed the bottlenose west and came upon a trio of adult whales.  As we’ve seen all week, the whales were observed rolling around, spy-hopping, showing fins and otherwise “socializing.”  Further west a pod of around 200 common dolphins joined the fun.  They were actively feeding…a lot of upside-down hunting was going on as they chased northern anchovies.

Common dolphins off the lighthouse located the boat on the noon excursion.  We followed them west as they, too, were feeding actively on the surface.  The fog was lifting a bit at this point.  Far to the west, off Coal Oil Point, 2 juvenile whales were watched before it was time to head back to the harbor.

On the 3 o’clock trip, despite the fog’s return, Captain Dave found six bottlenose dolphins near Shoreline Park. The dolphins were busy chasing fish in and out of the kelp bed along the shore. Continuing west, it wasn’t long before two gray whales were encountered off Hendry’s Beach.  Great looks were had by all.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express

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