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nine gray whales and lots of dolphins

2017 03-04 SB Coast

Two trips left the dock today, a noon trip and a 3pm.  The ocean surface was great on both excursions with super glassy smooth conditions.  Skies had a high dense cloud layer in advance of an on-coming storm which may skirt the region tomorrow and Monday.  Both trips were highly successful with a total of 9 gray whales and 200 common dolphins watched closely.

12 noon The Condor Express followed a similar pathway as yesterday and found a pair of gray whales about 2 miles outside Santa Barbara Harbor.  We followed them north to approximately Campus Point.  Here an additional 5 gray whales were encountered.  Several of this larger group came over to the boat and loyal whale watchers had some wonderful photo opportunities.  Tail flukes were also common.  The surface oil sheen from the natural oil seeps which occur west of UCSB was very thick today and our whales passed directly through the rainbow colored film.

3 pm Like the noon trip, the Condor Express again went out only a few miles and found yet another pair of northbound gray whales.  This pair was moving at a particularly slow speed, and also showed good tail flukes.

Soon a large pod of at least 200 long-beaked common dolphins came through.  All were actively feeding on northern anchovies.  They were seen running high speed chases, attacking fish upside down, and sending the little bait fishes flying out of the water to attempt their escape.  This feeding activity was a moveable feast that took the Condor Express from UCSB back home to the harbor.

In total, we watched nine gray whales and 200 dolphins today.  Wow!

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

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