top of page

Humpback whales fest plus a special visitor from deep pelagic realms


Black-footed Albatross in the Santa Barbara Channel today


It was a bright sunny day with moderate seas and a fresh breeze as El Capitan Mat ran southwest towards the east end of Santa Rosa Island, but he never made it. No worries. Nothing happened to Mat, he just located one of the most massive oceanic hot spots full of life that we’ve seen all summer long. No lie, this feeding frenzy was at least 2 miles long and 1 mile wide when we first got there. Our first indication of this massive living explosion was an abundance of seabirds, mostly sooty shearwaters. I was personally enjoying the huge population of these visitors from New Zealand when Captain Mat started screaming “black footed albatross, black footed albatross !” And there, within a few dozen yards of the port side of the Condor Express was this giant seabird. Now the Condor Express has run lots of special deep water pelagic birding trips that end up nearly 100 miles offshore, and that’s where we see most of these albatross. But today we got lucky.

As we passed the big bird, which refused to take off and fly despite the nice breeze (perhaps stomach overloaded with anchovies), we saw giant splashes to the west…humpback were getting frisky. And that is what finally put us into the feeding frenzy hot spot. Here we saw no less than 10 humpback whales, and probably more if you count the distant spouts and splashes. A conservative estimate puts the common dolphin herd at 3,500 individuals, probably more…who can count this many? Something wieid: not many sea lions in the mix today. Thousands of actively feeding seabirds filled the sky as the dolphins and whales drained every bite of anchovy out of the region. It was an awesome time and place.

I’ll post up the photos sometime tomorrow https://www.CondorExpressPhotos.com

see you on board soon ! Bob Perry

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

A trip up to Gaviota reaps rewards

2018 10-26 SB Channel Dense fog was down to the deck in most of the Santa Barbara Channel, but Captain Dave and the crew of the Condor Express ran west until they broke free and had a wonderful day wi

Another sunny day with whales and dolphins.

2018 10-07 SB Channel Today brought us close looks at 3 humpback whales and 200 long-beaked common dolphins.  It was a sunny day with a little bump on the water from the western Santa Barbara Channel.

Three humpback whales, one breacher…and more

2018 09-27 SB Channel Captain Dave ran a bit west, then out to the south.  Most of the action was only about 4 miles off Campus Point.  Skies were mostly overcast with a moderate breeze.  The sun came

Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page