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Giant blue whales and more

2016 07-05 SB Channel

The ocean surface featured a very light chop and breeze most of the day, with skies clearing to bright, warm sunshine just after 12 noon.  No fog!  Total cetacean sightings for the day included 10 Risso’s dolphin, 4 giant blue whales, 600 long-beaked common dolphins and 4 humpback whales.  It should be noted that there were several more blue whale and humpback whale spouts visible in the distance.  Here’s the story:

About 4 miles southwest of Santa Barbara a very small but friendly group of about 10 common dolphins made a bee-line for the Condor Express and everyone got great looks to start the day.  Fifteen minutes and about 4 miles later there was a larger group of several hundred common dolphins plus a single (and single-minded) humpback.  It was consumed with its westerly  course heading and did not exhibit any other behavior except rapid, straight line travel.

Close to 1130 am deckhand Tasha located several spouts strung-out in the northbound Lane along with another couple hundred common dolphins.  There were nice tail flukes throughout the sighting, and at one point a single humpback  made a pass along the starboard side of the Condor within a couple dozen meters before fluking-up.  Wow!  That was a very friendly approach by a curious whale.

An hour later found us moving east along The Ledge where giant blue whales and their spouts were seen in abundance.  We closely watched four blue whales and there was just enough breeze to make their very tall spouts visible against the blue sky.  It always takes your breath away to watch these noble giants at work.

Our final species sighted consisted of about 10 Risso’s dolphins not far north of the blue whales.  They were heading east and paralleling Santa Cruz Island.  Four of them aimed right at the port side of the Condor then rode some of the wind swells from west to east.

I should have the photos from today processed and posted online in a few days.

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

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