Massive amounts of cetaceans includes 5½ different species.

2020 08-13 Santa Rosa Island

The leading edge of a subtropical storm (near Cabo San Lucas) brought wonderful warm blue skies dappled with those small puffs of clouds that made you feel like you were visiting Hawaii. Seas were mill pond flat and glassy. Wonderful close looks for today included: 12+ giant blue whales, 1 hybrid fin/blue whales, 800 short-beaked common dolphins, 700 long-beaked common dolphins and 100 offshore bottlenose dolphins. FYI the hybrid fin/blue was identified by our crew on July 23, 2020 and given the nickname “Flue.”

Ten miles out we were completely entertained and at the mercy of a large herd of highly animated short-beaked common dolphins. These little powerhouse cetaceans were in a highly spirited mood today and their aerial acrobatics included high-flying and back flips. Also seen were instances of tail-standing and tail-walking.

Not long after the short-beak encounter, we began seeing numerous smaller groups of long-beaked common dolphins. Even more were seen as we drove adjacent to a large pod on the way home and stopped for a feeding group not far from Santa Barbara Harbor.

The “land of the giants” remained the same as the past week: 6 – 8 miles north of the western half of beautiful Santa Rosa Island. Captain Dave reports miles of blue whale spouts, and stopped the Condor Express to watch the densest aggregation of 12 – 15 giants. The blue whales were not as synchronized in their diving cycles today, but given so many beasts in the immediate vicinity there were always whales on the surface and, at times, as many as nine up at once.

A solo darker whale with taller dorsal fin was seen amidst the blue whales and dove up and down with them. It was identified by the crew, especially Adam and Dave, as being a hybrid fin/blue named “Flue.”

Not long after we slowly departed whaleland for the ride home, we encountered a large pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

SPECIAL ALL-DAY TRIP: Saturday August 29. An approximate 8-hour trip to feature end of summer marine life in the Santa Barbara Channel (and possibly beyond) will depart SEA Landing, check-in time is 730 am for an 8am 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:

https://condorexpress.whalewatchreservations.com/cexvouchers/user.php?trip_id=614073

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