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Our friend “Top Notch”

2015 09-01 SB Channel

What a relief! That intense heat wave we’ve been experiencing is gone and conditions in the Santa Barbara Channel are ideal. There was a little bump on the water near the Harbor due to a west wind chop working against an easterly surface current. Once we were offshore it was a really nice day for watching cetaceans. For today’s totals, we watched 12 humpback whales with many more in the area, and at least 2,100 long-beaked common dolphins. The dolphins were mostly found in two mega-pods of 1,000 each.

Our friend “Top Notch” the humpback came alongside the Condor Express several times and everyone was getting full-frame photographs with their cell phone cameras. After our nice encounter with Top Notch, the 85-meter motor sailing yacht America, cruised by and chatted with Captain Dave for a while about the whales and dolphins.

In the world-famous Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island we found some of the best underwater visibility ever. Sure enough, the water clarity revealed hundreds of little pelagic red crabs scooting at all depths. Very close and just outside the Painted Cave we located 2 more humpback whales traveling in opposite directions. 35 minutes later we found a nice oceanic hot spot with seabirds, sea lions, dolphins and at least 4 more humpback whales. Some nice vertical surface lunge feeding rounded-out this fantastic fun day with the marine life.

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

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