(Above: humpback whales in the Santa Barbara Channel; photographer unknown)
2022 11-26 SB Channel
The north side of the Channel, near the mainland, was calm with blue skies and no wind. The south side, near Santa Cruz Island, was windier and had a small bump on the water. Sightings included 3 humpback whales, 2500 long-beaked common dolphins and 60 California sea lions.
Captain Dave and the crew headed towards the west end of the island. Just south of the NOAA East Channel Buoy, the keen eyes of deckhand Eddie spotted a single whale in the distance, and we headed that way. This first whale was a bit shy and had long dive times. Two more adult whales were nearby. They were attempting to stay with a mega pod of dolphins that was moving east. The pod was surrounded by hungry sea birds. Sea lions were also scattered throughout the area.
Dave gave everyone a tour of the northern face of Santa Cruz Island including a trip inside beautiful Cueva Valdez anchorage.
On the voyage home we found an even larger pod of dolphins and enjoyed close looks.
The crew also removed 2 deflated, floating, Mylar balloons from the ocean surface.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and