2020 08-05 SB Channel
The fun continues in “the land of the giants.”
The gray skies of the morning marine layer burned off around 1130am and brought bright sunny skies and moderate winds to the southern half of the Santa Barbara Channel. Captain Dave and his crew closely watched 10+ giant blue whales, 1000 long-beaked common dolphins and 500 short-beaked common dolphins.
Two large pods of long-beaked common dolphin located the Condor Express and kept us company when we were offshore, north of The Lanes. This location approximately marked the transition between the calmer waters of the northern Channel and the wild and windy conditions found close to Santa Cruz Island. Later in the trip, on our way home, found us surrounded by a big herd of very active and friendly short-beaked commons.
The “land of the giants” remained fairly stationary overnight and was still located north of Fraser Point, Santa Cruz Island. We watched giant blue whales alone and in pairs. As large swells rolled down the Channel, and the wind blew across their faces, we had spectacular views of whales making their way up the waves. Tall spouts were quickly whipped around as the whale breath mixed in with the long manes of the white horses. It was both invigorating and inspirational. Dave proposed that the krill layer was closer to the surface (note: there was no surface lunge feeding observed) because the whales did not arch their backs or kick up their flukes during terminal dives. He described their behavior as “sinking out” into the deep. As it has been for the past month, many more spouts were seen both east and west of our location.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com