2017 08-21 SB Channel East
In the early morning there were alternating patches of marine layer stratus and sunshine. But not long after leaving Santa Barbara Harbor, skies cleared and everyone had an unrestricted ocean-based view of the solar eclipse. In addition to the eclipse we had a nice tour of the eastern end of Santa Cruz Island. We also closely watched 8 giant blue whales and 750 long-beaked common dolphins along the way. The mother blue whale and her calf were back again.
Captain Dave steered a course to the southeast, directly at the last known location of the giant blues. As we reported the past few days, the giants were first spotted in The Lanes, near the eastern end of Santa Cruz Island. There was abundant dolphin action all around this area too. The now-famous little calf we call “Wave” came by for a visit.
Dave left the whales and dolphins for a short-but-informative visit to the sea cliffs and coves along the northeastern face of Santa Cruz Island. This included his summary of the island’s geologic history, geography, paleontology, and current conservation efforts. Dave also took the Condor Express into beautiful Potato Harbor, a wonderful bowl-shaped cove with steep cliffs on three sides.
On the way out from the island, back in The Lanes, both Wave and its mother made a very close and friendly visit to the Condor. The water was super clear and cobalt blue which greatly enhanced the whole-body views of the super huge mother side-by-side with her much smaller calf.
Dolphins were seen feeding on large aggregations of northern anchovies in the northern Channel, closer to home.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express