2020 08-12 Santa Rosa Island
The large aggregation of blue whales persists!
Captain Dave and his crew headed across the Santa Barbara Channel to the western portion of Santa Rosa Island to the same area where the giant blue whales were watched in great abundance yesterday. Despite conditions changing to feature fog and a bit of swell near the islands, the following were closely-watched: 20+ giant blue whales, 1500 long-beaked common dolphins and 100 offshore bottlenose dolphins.
Common dolphins were found in smaller groups near the mainland and much larger groups once we reached The Lanes. Even more found the Condor Express on our trip home in the afternoon.
Near the west end of Santa Rosa Island, and about 6 miles north, a line of giants was encountered that continued for several miles to the west and beyond our visual range. Apparently the tight feeding group of 30+ blues we recorded yesterday was still on the scene, but more spread out. We had time to watch 20+ giants today. Along the line of giants there were two groups separated by only ½ mile of water. We watched part of the western group then move to the eastern whales which were diving synchronously. At one point 9 blue whales rose to the surface together…what a sight! Their feeding continues to be sub-surface.
While watching the eastern group of whales a large herd of offshore bottlenose dolphins passed by several hundred yards away. The group continued to move as a unit then circled around and approached the blue whale congregation and the Condor Express. It was both unique and exciting to see these two species interacting.
SPECIAL ALL-DAY TRIP: Saturday August 29.
An approximate 8-hour trip to feature the end of summer wildlife of the Santa Barbara Channel will depart SEA Landing, check-in time is 730 am for an 8 am departure. Destinations are weather-dependent and could include the outer islands of Santa Rosa and San Miguel, and/or the south sides (“backsides”) of the islands. Please follow this link to sign-up:
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com