Such an amazing day weather-wise: air temperatures in the mid-80’s, clear, sunny and in most areas very glassy. There was a little west wind swell, but nothing to write home about. Captain Eric ran two trips today: 9am and 12 noon. Here is the complete breakdown:
On the 9am trip we headed east, not too far off the beach, to catch up with a mega pod of long-beaked common dolphins. There were at least 1,500 of these #dolphins and they were milling around, kind of languid, in the crystal clear water on a hot, sunny morning. Fantastic looks were had. While enjoying dolphins, a passenger pointed out some spouts not too far further east. We located a quad-pod of gray whales of mixed sizes. We followed them at a safe distance and enjoyed seeing all 4 on the surface at times, three and one at other times, and even two pairs…as the quartet mixed and matched, never straying far from each other. The morning trip ended with a bang as we intercepted about 40 Pacific white-sided dolphins very close to shore at the East Beach anchorage.
Whatever trace winds blew here and there on the morning trip were now completely gone and it universally glassed off for the afternoon adventure. We ran west because we heard intel on the VHF that our quad pod was not too far up the coast. Just off Hope Ranch we had to stop and play. A new pod of at least 50 Pacific white-sided dolphins was running through the buoys at the oyster farm. Again we had great looks at these wonderfully animated cetaceans. Continuing on the gray whale search, we ran past a mob of at least 30 California sea lions off Isla Vista. And then….tah dah ! A vast spread out pod of about 150 MORE Pacific white-siders all over the place. Naturally we played. After a good session with the “lags” we finally caught up with the four gray whales off Ellwood near the Cormorant nesting poles. The sightings were equal to the morning, if not better due to the great backdrop of the cliffs and trees coupled with the crystal clear glassy conditions. Wow!
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express