2015 09-16 SB Channel
We barely had our bow out of Santa Barbara Harbor when Captain Dave spun the Condor Express around and we followed a dozen inshore bottlenose dolphins down east and through the boat anchorage. There were a few calves in the pod, and we watched all of these dolphins for 15 or 20 minutes, but they swam up within a few feet of the beach where it was too shallow for even the Condor to run. This was to be the start of a nice variety of cetaceans today.
Sea conditions were not looking good as it was a bit windy and choppy plus a nice squall just dumped rain all over Santa Barbara. But as we pushed offshore to the south, conditions actually improved and the rest of the day was sunny and fairly calm. Our second stop found us south of the Lanes and a few miles north of Santa Cruz Island. Deckhand (and second Captain) Eric saw “a tall spout,” which turned out to be one of two blue whales we followed today.
The first blue whale was small, perhaps only a few years old, but gave us spectacular looks in the Santa Barbara cobalt clear water and bright sun. Soon we moved from the whale species that is the largest in the world to a rather large fin whale, the second largest species of whale. The fin whale was a big adult and much larger than the little blue we first followed. Next a second blue, a medium large individual, showed up and we were surrounded by very large cetaceans.
Our nice variety of cetaceans also included watching a pod of at least 50 offshore bottlenose dolphins. These offshore cousins of the dolphins we saw in the surf zone are much larger and more active. What a treat !
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express