2020 08-20 Santa Cruz Island
Giant blues persist along Santa Cruz Island!
The entire state of California is under smoke-filled skies from numerous brush fires and the Santa Barbara Channel is no exception. Other than a rather brown, hazy sky, seas were calm and our wildlife sightings were wonderful. Our list for the trip included: 5+ giant blue whales, 1 Minke whale, 1800 long-beaked common dolphins, 6 offshore bottlenose dolphins and 200 short-beaked common dolphins. All the action took place a few miles off the northern sea cliffs of Santa Cruz Island.
The two-month anniversary of giant blue whales in the Channel is coming up in just a week or so. They move around. Sometimes they feed off Santa Rosa Island, and other times, like today, they are east and feeding near Santa Cruz Island. We closely watched 5 giants today and there were additional spouts in the near distance. One of our beasts was a regular tail-fluker and a bit hit with its fan club on the Condor Express.
Prior to our blue whale encounter, we watched several groups of common dolphins. The first pod was only 4 miles out from the Harbor and featured the short-beaked species…a highly acrobatic and aerial type that always excites! Later groups were larger, more spread-out and were of the long-beaked species. These are very boat friendly, not quite so acrobatic, but life to surf any wave that comes along, large or small.
Just prior to our giant blue whale session a small pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins came through the area. These cetaceans are not seen too often, but lately we’ve been on a hot streak.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com
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SPECIAL ALL-DAY TRIP: Saturday August 29.
An approximate 8-hour trip to feature the end of summer wildlife of the Santa Barbara Channel will depart SEA Landing, check-in time is 730am for an 8am departure. Destinations are weather-dependent and could include the outer islands of Santa Rosa and San Miguel, and/or the south sides (“backsides”) of the islands. Please follow this link to sign-up: