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Fog, good whale sightings, fog, offshore bottlenose antics, and more


Image: Offshore bottlenose dolphins are known for their aerial acrobatics.


2023 07-24 SB Channel


Captain Devin and the crew found thick, often near zero visibility, fog most of the day. There were a few “sucker holes” or “little rooms” where the bright sun hit the water for an area less than ¼ mile in diameter. Nonetheless, sightings were very good: 6 humpback whales, 2000 long-beaked common dolphins and 25 offshore bottlenose dolphins.


Small pods of common dolphins were found just ¼ mile outside Santa Barbara Harbor and continued as we set a southwesterly course heading aimed at the western end of Santa Cruz Island. (We did not reach the island today because we found ample life in the Channel which required slow travel for fog safety).


Just beyond the Kelp Farm, amidst even more common dolphins, we paid a short visit to as single humpback. Like many, but not all, of the whales we saw today, this one had very long down times…so we continued southwest.


Next we located another sucker hole with hundreds of common dolphins and two more whales. The long dive times made staying near these whales difficult in the fog. Out of nowhere, a very active pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins located us and put on a show body surfing our wake and leaping high in the sky. (See today’s photo for an example).


Our last sighting was of 3 whales that did some near-surface feeding, rolling around and came over to the Condor Express a few times to meet their fans.


You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

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