Glassy conditions enhance looks at a fin, a Minke, and two different species of dolphins.

2020 07-01 SB Channel

Another great benefit of having a mile marine stratus layer all day is it cuts the surface glare and, if a wild animal chooses to approach the Condor Express, you can see the underwater view…assuming good water clarity. We had good water clarity and another mill pond glassy day under the thin low clouds. Captain Dave and the crew reported close observations of 1 fin whale, 1 Minke whale, 1 blue shark, 2500 long-beaked common dolphins and 100 pelagic bottlenose dolphins.

The common dolphins were distributed across the Santa Barbara Channel in a pattern similar to what was reported the past few days: scattered pods starting about 4 miles from shore and thereafter. North of The Lanes, in the vicinity of Diablo Point, a large fin whale was closely watched. It had short, 4 minute, dives, circled around a bit and was oblivious to the presence of the big cat.

Moving west, in the Painted Cave area, a wonderful observation of a Minke whale took place, as well as a small surface-finning blue shark. The shark was about 5 feet long. Dave took advantage of his position and ran a nice tour inside the outer chamber of the famous Painted Cave…always a personal favorite of mine.

Not long after exiting The Cave a herd of highly active, aerial and friendly offshore bottlenose dolphins located the Condor Express. This is always a great time to have glassy, clear water in our favor. There were loads of little calves in this pod.

There was more glassy water and more common dolphins on the way home.

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

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