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Fun with common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and a speckled humpback whale.

2022 06-30 SB Channel

A morning high overcast layer quickly turned to bright sun. Seas and winds were moderately calm. Sightings included: 2000 long-beaked common dolphins, 40 offshore bottlenose dolphins and 1 humpback whale.

Captain Dave and the crew took the Condor Express south from the harbor entrance about 5 miles, then turned west to parallel the beach, and ran up the line to UCSB. Along this route we watched several thousand common dolphins in small and scattered pods. These were small foraging groups feasting on small northern anchovy bait balls along with lots of hungry sea birds. Near the end of this line of dolphin hot spots, a juvenile humpback whale was located moving from spot to spot, following the dolphins. This small humpback was covered with white speckles. It made one or two close passes by the Condor Express then threw its tail not too far off our bow. It proceeded to roll around, the quickly got back on track with the dolphins and the anchovies.

Our next stop on today’s tour was a visit to the majestic sea cliffs along the northwestern face of beautiful Santa Cruz Island. Dave provided a short narration which was punctuated by a trip inside the first chamber of the world’s longest sea cave, the Painted Cave.

As we departed the Cave and got on a track back to the harbor, we intersected a highly animated and very friendly pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins with loads of little calved in the mix.

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

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