Humpback whales festoon the north Channel
Sunday, August 21, 2016 – Captain Eric found a substantial amount of biomass in the northern Santa Barbara Channel including close looks at 7 humpback whales, at least 3,000 long-beaked common dolphins, 2 Minke whales, and loads of California sea lions. The weather was good with sunny skies, a moderate breeze but not much swell.
Not too far out from Santa Barbara harbor the first humpback whale was located in the middle of a hundred or so dolphins. This would start the dolphin ball rolling as we followed group after group of the little cetaceans to the west. The second encounter was like all the rest, a mix of dolphins and a humpback whale. The bait was fairly shallow so the dive times were short and the surface times were wonderful. This second encounter was about 7 miles offshore from Holly, and the third encounter was not far away.
The final hot spot was located because our deckhand “Ojos de águila” Auggie spotted a breaching whale, and Eric steered a course right at it. There were 5 more humpback whales in this region, and as the crew looked further west using binoculars, there were between 5 and 10 additional spouts that we did not have time to watch today. A couple of nice Minke whale sightings and dozens of California sea lions also characterized this region.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express