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More than a dozen humpback whales and thousands of dolphins.

2017 09-23 SB Channel

Excellent weather and sea conditions resulted in a good quantity of high quality wildlife encounters today.  There were 14 humpback whales and over 2,000 long-beaked common dolphins closely watched.  Captain Dave and his crew took a southwesterly course from Santa Barbara Harbor to the western end of Santa Cruz Island, crossing the Santa Barbara Channel.

Dave reports that dolphin pods, some into the many hundreds of individuals, located the Condor Express all day long.  As reported earlier this week, many of the dolphins were seen chasing northern anchovies in clear, blue Santa Barbara cobalt water.  The whale sightings were all in the northern section of the Channel, between The Lanes and the mainland.

This excursion had two whale-rich segments, among a backdrop of consistent dolphins.  The first was prior to Dave’s interpreted cruise along the northern sea cliffs of the island and putting the front half of the boat into the first chamber of the world famous Painted Cave.  During this segment 10 humpbacks were closely watched.  The second segment came after the Cave and on the trip home.  This later segment added 3 more whales to the tally.

All of the whales were searching for anchovy schools beneath the surface.  Tail flukes were common and plenty of iPhones were racking up some NatGeo-types of images.  Several of the whales made close and friendly approaches to the Condor Express.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express

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