2015 08-31 SB Channel
Although the marine forecast was a bit dicey, in truth things were moderate at the start and just kept improving. Skies were sunny, the Santa Barbara cobalt water was almost everywhere, and the wind really never came up. Captain Eric, along with his “Eagle Eyes” deckhand Augie, located a pair of whales at 1045 am when we were about 6 miles off the coast of Hope Ranch. This was to be the first two whales of the five total observed today, and it was a mother humpback whale with here rather large (ready to be weaned?) calf. Initially there were no dolphins with this pair of whales, and the whales kept on a steady and brisk pace to the west.
We continued following our westward bound mother and calf humpback whales until, around 1145 am, we located another two individual humpbacks along with about 25 long-beaked common dolphins. At this point we were about 7 miles south of The Campus. We kept with these whales and dolphins until 1210 pm when Augie grabbed my old gaff and plucked a completely clear, old mylar balloon from the surface. These helium balloons, especially mylar, should be outlawed. (Personal opinion).
Before long, we were closely watching a trio of whales and two of them turned out to be the mother and calf humpback whales we watched at the start of the trip. These two had kept moving west and were now about 8 miles south of Naples. Several larger groups of common dolphins passed by and also played with the Condor Express, so our total for these smaller cetaceans was 325 for the day.
There were a few very nice close approaches by the whales and it was a terrific trip.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express