Giant whales and lots of dolphins

2016 07-09 SB Channel

Whoa!  Captain Dave and his renowned crew have found the giant whales again.  No fog.  A sunny day and the winds held off until we left the giants and were heading back to Santa Barbara.  Totals for the trip:  inshore bottlenose dolphins = 15,  long-beaked common dolphins = 1,000+,  humpback whales = 12+, blue whales = 2+.

Right out of the gate the crew spotted and followed a good 15-member strong group of inshore bottlenose dolphins and great look were had by all.  It is always wonderful to see these medium-large dolphins around the Wharf and in the surf zone.  Continuing, at about three miles or so off the beach, the first of the giant whales, the humpbacks, were encountered in an area with a nice population of common dolphins.  Nice views (and smells) were had.  The Condor Express continued southwest to a location south of The Lanes where the big concentration of blues and fins were seen yesterday.  But alas!  No giant whales in that spot today.

Dave kept the latitude constant but moved further west for a while and, sure enough, this is where the giant whales had moved over night.  Two blue whales were closely watched here as well as more humpback whales.  Curiously, as we followed alongside one of the giant blue whales, it kicked up its tail and sounded.  Dave was patient and held the boat steady for over 15 minutes as the whale took an extra long dive.  To the surprise of everyone, including the Captain, when the beast finally rose to the surface after this long dive it came up within only a few dozen yards of the boat.  Again, Dave kept the boat in neutral as the blue whale spouted and slowly swam around the boat perhaps looking at its fans on board.  Wow!

On the way back there were some additional spots with humpback whales and dolphins mixed together.  But what a great day this was to be out in the Santa Barbara Channel.

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

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