The venerable original Condor ran three 2½ trips today, at 9 am 12 noon and 3 pm. Again we had mirror glass seas, crystal clear blue water, and a hazy summer-like warm sun. Great sightings were enjoyed by everyone on board. Here’s the breakdown:
On the 9am adventure we ran west from Santa Barbara Harbor until we located a pair of nice gray whales on their northbound migration through our Channel. The pair of whales fluked up a lot. Not long thereafter we also found a single gray whale which became quite friendly with the boat and made one very close approach to our bow. Conditions were superb and sightings were very good. At least 200 long-beaked common dolphins were also part of the morning show.
At noon we also ran west and found 2 different gray #whales about 2 miles south of Hope Ranch. All three of us, the Condor and the two whales, “swam” side-by-side for several miles in the clear, glassy water. After turning around and slowly heading back towards the Harbor, we encountered another pair of gray whales. A handful, perhaps 5, long-beaked common dolphins were seen on this trip.
Although I was not personally on the 3pm trip (of course) it turned out to have seen quite a spectacular display from gray whales AND a humpback whale. They watched 3 gray whales, and as you know, one of them breached in plain view of its fans on the Condor. The humpback rolled around and did a series of pectoral fin slaps; this initially is what caught the crew’s eye. Upon arriving in the vicinity, the humpback whale breached fairly close to the boat twice and put an end to the dreamy, sleepy kind of afternoon we had been enjoying. Wow! It should also be noted that we rode along with 7 nice bottlenose dolphins just outside the Harbor.