Monday, August 15, 2016 – The winds were down a bit from yesterday, but some residual bump on the surface kept our speed down a bit today. Captain Eric took the helm of the Condor Express and ran to the far west southwest Santa Barbara Channel in search of life. Close looks were had of 2 humpback whales, at least 500 long-beaked common dolphins, and many hundreds of California sea lions.
Eric started following after small but numerous pods of dolphins until, sure enough, the humpback whales came into view. The whales had very short (2 min) down times and were easy on the eyes. There were dolphins around the whales too, but the fascinating thing about this encounter was the sea lions. There were several very large mobs of California sea lions in close proximity to the whales, and, as Eric described it, “riding on their backs.” Sea birds were also active in this zone.
I’m not sure if Eric was speaking figuratively or literally about the interaction between sea lions and whales. Close proximity interaction is fairly common this time of year, but I sure would love to photograph one “riding” the other. Perhaps tomorrow will tell it all.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express