Gray Whales “Socializing”
2016 02-20 SB Channel
Captain Eric and his crew ran two fabulous excursions today with ideal conditions in the Santa Barbara Channel. The good news is the conditions are supposed to only get better during the week ahead. Here’s a summary of today’s adventures:
12noon Not too far offshore 3 adult gray whales were located because there was a lot of action, rolling around, etc. On the scene it quickly became obvious that it was a small mating pod and a lot of gray whale hanky-panky was going on in front of all the whale fans. Captain Eric took an iPhone photo of all this and you can see it above. Long-beaked common dolphins were all around too, and their population was estimated at around 20 individuals.
3pm The afternoon trip left Santa Barbara and headed back to where we left the 3 amorous gray whales from the noon trip. As fate would have it, they were no longer actively mating and had resumed a regular migration back to Alaskan waters. We had good looks and wished them bon voyage about a mile south of the Goleta Pier. Heading east, we ended up back in the east beach anchorage where we had a great sighting of a large male Stellar sea lion, perhaps the same one we saw two days ago out on Platform Henry. About 100 common dolphins kept us company on this excursion.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express