Mirror and rippled glass ocean full of life
The adventure began under sunny blue skies and a rippled ocean surface. There was a wind driven swell from the west that hardly anyone noticed, especially when we were riding the waves down hill to the eastern Santa Barbara Channel. There were more pods and larger pods of long beaked common dolphins today. A rough guess of the total is 1,500+ #dolphins, and at least two of the larger groups were nursery pods. Amazing. As the trip progressed and we moved from dolphin pod to dolphin pod, many hot spots were firing off with California sea lions, dolphins and various predatory seabirds. There were larger flocks of black-vented shearwaters today, and the red necked phalarope flocks are growing too. Sea conditions just kept getting better and better until we were riding with the dolphins through mirror glass. After running a search grid over the last known location, we eventually spotted one of the humpback whales we saw yesterday. It was the large one with the rounded, shovel-like dorsal fin that the crew nicknamed “Spade.” Spade was all business but did fluke up regularly and also made several close passes by the Condor Express to the delight of its fan club. A few Minke #whales also passed through the hot spots to round out the species counts. It was a very fun and beautiful day. I’ll post up the photographs from today’s trip sometime tomorrow.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express Biologist and Photographer
on the web: www.CondorExpress.com/blog