2016 06-09 SB Channel
Wow. I went to NorCal to a family gathering for my wonderful wife’s birthday, and suddenly the daily epic sightings we’ve been having jumped off the charts. I just can’t leave the Condor Express, or maybe I should leave more often! Hah. Seas were calm, no fog , moderate stratus up off the decks and wildlife everywhere we roamed today.
The excursion began as Captain Dave ran west to a point several miles off UCSB were he encountered around 1,000 long-beaked common dolphins in groups spread out and feeding. Many sea birds joined the banquet, and soon there were around 5 humpback whales in the zone too. One of them breached close to the boat. We also got a nice, yet fleeting, glimpse of a Minke whale here too.
Next Dave tried to head out to the Lanes and search for blue whales, but was stalled out when a second, but much larger, ocean hot spot was located. Northern anchovy schools were all over but their population size was diminishing before our very eyes. We close watched an additional 15 humpback whales with many more in the area, and another 1,000 or so common dolphins were here too. Birds were crashing and diving and squawking all around. Dave held the Condor Express in a stationary holding pattern as the wildlife circulated around including several surface lunge feeding episodes.
Later, upon reaching the Lanes, 3 blue whales, 1 fin whale, and another single humpback whale made for another great sighting location. One blue whale was exceedingly friendly and came towards the boat to look around a few times. Perhaps the most exciting feature of the blue whale sighting was the interaction between 6 Dall’s porpoise that actually “rode the bow” of the blue whales and followed them around for quite a while. Later, this same group of Dall’s found the Condor Express and rode our bow too as we were heading home.
In addition to the Dall’s porpoise the trip home included a very big ocean sunfish (Mola mola), more common dolphins and another relatively shy humpback whale.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store, especially when Bob is in NorCal. Bob Perry Condor Express