2022 08-13 SB Channel
Skies were sunny and bright all day as we moved south, then west, out of Santa Barbara Harbor. The residual wind waves and chop from rough seas offshore overnight were negligible until we were at our furthest point south, near the middle of the Channel. Sightings included 2 humpback whales, 3000 long-beaked common dolphins and 800 short-beaked common dolphins.
Eight miles south of Hope Ranch we encountered lots of LONG-beaked common dolphins in medium-sized pods scattered across the area. There was a lot of feeding activity and we located, then watched an adult humpback in the mix. The whale was mobile, following the faster dolphins, and spent most of its time feeding (and/or re-locating) sub-surface.
As the offshore bumpy conditions were a nuisance, Captain Dave and the crew moved the Condor Express a few miles closer to shore (north) and put us back into relatively calm waters. There were more LONG-beaks here, and another humpback, too. This was a sub-adult whale and, in addition to feeding sub-surface like the previous leviathan, it did a bit of grunt and trumpet vocalizing.
Nearby, we had a not-so-frequent encounter with a large pod of SHORT-beaked common dolphins. Unlike their longer-snout cousins, this species is often highly animated, jumping and acrobatic. Today’s group was all of that to the max. There was a lot of tail-slapping all around the boat, and a considerable number of high-flying dolphins with leaps 20-feet or so off the surface. What fun!
On the way home we watched more LONG-beaks.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com