Four friendly gray whales and lots of dolphins
2016 03-27 SB Channel
Two excursions left the docks today, the 12 noon and the 3 pm afternoon trips. Conditions were good, you might say even excellent along the immediate coast. The highlight of the day were four friendly gray whales. Here is a summary of our sightings:
12 noon Gray whales = 1 Long-beaked common dolphins = 20 Pacific white-sided dolphins = 50 (aka, Lags)
There were a few Lags just outside the entrance to Santa Barbara Harbor as we left the coast at noon. It was a small group, but sightings were good. Next Captain Eric and his crew ran up the coast a little ways to find common dolphins feeding on anchovies. Birds were crashing and California sea lions joined the luncheon banquet. About a mile further to the west, near the famous “blue house,” the only gray whale of the noon excursion was located. It was a friendly whale and came over to the boat and rolled around which thrilled the whale fan club on the Condor Express. On the way back a much larger group of Lags were encountered and they rode the bow and stern.
3 pm Gray whales = 3 Long-beaked common dolphins = 200+ Lags = 50
Eric took the boat east right from the start and almost immediately keen-eyed deck hand Auggie had located a couple dozen Lags feeding on anchovies. Continuing east to Carpinteria, nothing much was located so Eric bent his course offshore. Here he found around 200 common dolphins in a nursery pod which Eric describes as “every mother had a calf.” Off Summerland we followed 2 gray whales until they joined up with a third gray near East Beach. At this point the grays did swim towards and then under the Condor Express with epic looks by all. That made a total of four friendly gray whales for the day. Wow.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express