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Humpback whales, Blue whales and lots more

It was another gorgeous, warm, flat calm day in our neck of the Santa Barbara Channel. Humpback whales, blue whales, common dolphins and sea lions were all seen today.

Captain Dave encountered a mega-pod of long-beaked common dolphins just a few miles offshore from Santa Barbara harbor.  This aggregation included around 2,000 animals and stretched  for about 2 miles as a 100-yard wide “river” of life, moving west to east.

In The Lanes, 2 logging humpback whales were watched for a long time. During this lengthy sighting the beasts never moved.  The first whale logged on the surface the whole time, and the second logged but would sink slowly beneath the waves for a minute or two before rising again just as slowly.  It was a mesmerizing and tranquil encounter.

About that time our deck hand Tasha spotted some giant spouts to the south of our location and along our intended route to Santa Cruz Island. This turned out to be a blue whale hot spot.  First we watched a pair of very large blue whales.  Soon a third whale and then a very small (30-foot) fourth joined the group.  All of the blue whales had short, 4-minute, down times.  It was another spectacular sighting.

On we went for our afternoon cruise along the steep sea cliffs and various caverns of Santa Cruz Island where Captain Dave gave his interpretation of this special place. Our tour included a nice visit inside the mouth of the world-famous Painted Cave.  Upon leaving The Cave, that same mega-mob of California sea lions, about 300 strong, was in the same place it was yesterday.  Hundreds of sea birds were feeding alongside the brown, furry mammals.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express

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