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Island whale watching season commenced!

2022 05-12 SB Channel

Skies were sunny and it was a “tale of two Channels.” Our return to 4 ½ hour trips began with calm seas near the mainland and bumpier seas in the southern side of the Channel. Sightings were good: 1000 short-beaked common dolphins, 800 long-beaked common dolphins, 2 humpback whales and 1 bald eagle.

Captain Dave ran a straight course towards the west end of beautiful Santa Cruz Island and found our first significant wildlife sighting inside Frye’s Harbor (where rock was quarried to build the Santa Barbara Harbor breakwater), a bald eagle. The bird flew along the ridge and over the harbor for all to see.

As we left Frye’s and the island behind, we were in the northbound shipping lane (where there was a lot of big ships today) when we encountered a mega pod of short-beaked common dolphins. These aerial acrobats rode, and jumped, our wake and we had good looks. A few miles later, and north of The Lanes, we spotted 2 humpbacks. We had nice looks at their tail flukes in moderately rough seas. Finally, further along on our homeward course heading, we watched a large pod of a related species, long-beaked common dolphins.

The coastal waters were nice and calm, just the way we left them in the morning.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry Condor Express, and

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