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Humpbacks, Grays, Bottlenose and Commons !


2015 03-25 SB Coast

Right off the bat we had a brief encounter with 5 inshore bottlenose dolphins on the morning trip. They led us through the East Beach anchorage for a while, and then eagle-eyed second captain, Eric, located some taller spouts not even a mile outside Santa Barbara Harbor. This would turn out to be a nice pair of young northbound gray whales and we rode along with them up to Hendry’s. Near Hendry’s we were about a mile off the beach and spouted numerous spouts near the kelp beds closer to shore. We quickly got on another pair of gray #whales and they behaved much like the first pair, nice surface times but long down times. Luckily the bright sun and clear water offshore made the sightings even better. The last cetacean species of the morning was a group of about 100 long-beaked common #dolphins full of mother-calf pairs…a “nursery pod.”

The calm and glassy sea conditions coupled with air temperatures in the 80’s F persisted for most of the noon trip. On this afternoon adventure Captain Dave, acting on good intel, took the mighty Condor Express far to the east of Platform Hogan in the Ventura Flats region in search of humpback whales. Along the way we played with over 500 long-beaked common dolphins in the crystal clear water. The dolphins were scattered across the zone, not packed up into a pod. About that time we spotted the tall spouts of at least 3 different humpback whales in the region. The friendliest and closest one was our buddy “Scarlet” which regular readers will recall from last year. Scarlet, in short, has a deep propeller scar and a few associated globular tumors that were also no doubt a result of the propeller. Scarlet had nice surface times and long down times. At one point she passed directly under the Condor Express as we could tell from a long and robust bubble stream that rose to the surface along our port side. Later we saw the other humpback whales, but not as nice and close as Scarlet. On the way home we saw gray whale spouts all over the nearshore waters, and followed one from the eastern edge of the East Beach anchorage back towards the Harbor.

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

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