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Humpbacks, Grays, Common Dolphins and Sea Lions

Image: A gray whale calf plays in the surf (Mom is close by).

2023 04-23 SB Coast

Similar to yesterday, skies were sunny, winds were negligible, BUT the overnight winds caused our ride to the west to be interesting. Sightings were great today: 18 humpback whales, 2 gray whales, 40 long-beaked common dolphins and 300+ California sea lions. Two trips ran today, one at 9a, the other at noon.

The 9a trip almost immediately was discovered by a small pod of common dolphins ½ mile off Leadbetter. We followed for a while as they rode our wake waves. Captain Devin next moved to a hot spot 5 miles south of Goleta. Here we found a spread-out group of 8 or 10 humpback whales (which we would visit again on the noon trip). There were several lazy tail throws…fun to see. The whales were followed by several hundred sea lions.

At noon the surf zone and nearby kelp forest below the Mesa produced a mother gray whale with her calf. The calf led Mom in and out of the surf, and was mostly so shallow the Condor Express could not follow. Great looks to have and also to know the local calf migration has not yet concluded! On our way back to the Goleta humpbacks we intercepted another small pod of common dolphins. The humpies were feeding sub-surface and a few came up very close to the boat.

You never know what mother nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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