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2022 02-12 SB Channel

The excellent summerlike weather continued again today. We found clear blue skies, clear blue water, warm sunshine and calm seas. There was a light Santa Ana wind out at Santa Cruz Island. Sightings were PHENOMENAL: 4 gray whales, 15 Risso’s dolphins, 300 long-beaked common dolphins and….5 KILLER WHALES!

Captain Dave and the crew crossed the midriff of the Santa Barbara Channel and turned into the Santa Cruz Channel which is one of the migratory routes for southbound gray whales. We closely watched 4 gray whales here today. They appeared to be northbound for a while, then stopped for a long period of milling around, so we did not stay around to see if they changed directions…which they often do.

Also in the general vicinity were Risso’s dolphins. We had good looks in the aforementioned clear water, as they went about their travels.

On the way home, about 6 miles out of Santa Barbara Harbor, spouts in the distance turned out to be killer whales. At first we saw 2 males (Orion and Bumper), followed by 3 females…all from the CA51 pod…according to our crew person, Adam. The group killed and ate a California sea lion. They were also very boat friendly and did some spy-hopping right next to our hulls.

Closer to home we watched a pod of common dolphins.

The crew removed 3 balloons and a sealed 5-gallon can of used engine oil from the ocean today. Valentine’s Day is next Monday and I’m going to send out a gentle reminder to all readers about the dangers feral balloons cause in the environment. Please do not let balloons go. (Even better if you find another celebratory symbol). Thank you.

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

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