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Great weather and a wildlife bonanza

Image: Clear blue “Santa Barbara cobalt” water and common dolphins.

 

2023 12-08 SB Channel

 

Captain Dave reports blue, sunny skies with no wind today. Seas were moderate due to overnight winds to the west. The trip was enhanced by super clear water (See today’s photo for an example).  Sightings included: 7 humpback whales, 3000 long-beaked common dolphins, and 50 California sea lions.

 

On a westerly/southwesterly heading, about 5 miles off More Mesa, the first of 3 megapods of dolphins located the Condor Express.  Each of the groups had mothers with calves in the mix. The 2nd group was just 3 miles away, and during our dolphin watching we saw a large breach in the distance to the west.

 

We moved about 6 miles and ended up with our first whale off Coal Oil Point. We had good looks and noticed spouts about 1 mile south. A wildlife-rich area included another 4 whales, a smaller pod of dolphins, and a tight mob of sea lions. We observed one surface lunge-feeding event and, later, two of the whales made a close pass for its fan club on the Condor.

 

Slowly moving east, we found our 3rd megapod of dolphins and 2 more whales.

 

Bob PerryCondor Express, and

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