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Four species of cetaceans with great conditions today.

Image: a friendly visit by an offshore bottlenose dolphin.

2024 03-10 SB Channel 

Captain Devin and his crew ran 2 excursions into the Santa Barbara Channel today: 9a and 12n.  Overcast skies for the morning trip gave way to sunshine for the afternoon adventure. Seas were calm all day and there was not much wind. The water had good clarity and our sightings for the day included: 2 gray whales, 100 long-beaked common dolphins, 5 humpback whales and 350 offshore bottlenose dolphins.

Just past the Kelp Farm the morning sightings began with 2 shy gray whales. These were northbound adults with a difficult dive pattern: 1 breath then long dives. In the binoculars, the crew spotted a few birdnados 8 miles south of Hope Ranch. On the scene we found 100 common dolphins feeding on surface bait balls. A bit further north there were 4 humpbacks, a trio and a singleton. After watching them for a while, one took off in front of the bow for a dramatic breach.

At noon we moved further south of the Kelp Farm and a large pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins located the Condor Express. The group was mellow and friendly (see today’s photograph for an example). They did not exhibit aerial and acrobatic behavior.  Later, just north of The Buoy, we watched a single humpback with long dive times. [Perhaps some of the food was deep today?]   It made one very close pass by the boat.

On the way home we passed a smaller pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store,

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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