2022 07-27 SB Channel – West
Our thin, high stratus layer burned off for a while, coincidentally when we were on the hot spot for whales and dolphins up near Hondo. Seas were calm and there was not much of a breeze. Sightings continue to happen in the same zone all week, today we closely watched: 3000 long-beaked common dolphins, 3+ humpback whales, 1 Minke whale and 50 scattered California sea lions.
Small pods of dolphins became large pods as we ran from Goleta Bay to Hondo. One of the 50+ dolphins we closely watched offshore from Goleta was very actively surface feeding upside down (see today’s photograph for an example), and this spot was rich with “interested” seabirds and a few sea lions, too.
After a while we moved further west and soon, amidst a very large pod of dolphins, we spent time with our first humpback whale. It was a sub-adult with white tail flukes (delineated by a midline black stripe) AND white coloration on the dorsal side of the long wings (pectoral flippers). It was a strikingly handsome animal and we had fabulous looks.
About 2.5 miles south, we closely watched a cow-calf humpback pair and, later, a semi-distant solo adult (not seemingly connected to the c/c). All were engaged in sub-surface feeding. On location a single quick look at a medium-sized Minke whale occurred.
The crew also retrieved a single, floating, deflated, Mylar balloon from the ocean surface. “Balloons blow! Don’t let them go!”
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com