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Outstanding SpaceX launch, 6 whales and 15 dolphins.

Image: four gray whales near the Santa Barbara coast.

2023 03-03 SB Coast

Seas were calm and skies were blue. Two trips left the harbor today, 9a and 12n. Sightings included 6+ Pacific gray whales and 15 coastal bottlenose dolphins.

One of the highlights of the trip was a morning SpaceX launch from Vandenberg that was clearly visible from the nearshore Santa Barbara environment. This was on the morning excursion along with a fast, single look at a very elusive gray whale which never came up for a visible second breathing cycle.

The noon adventure included a nice session with 15 coastal bottlenose dolphins seen off Leadbetter Beach. Nearby, some lucky people caught another furtive glimpse at what was probably the same morning shy whale. At this point, Captain Dave and his crew moved west to find a wonderful pod of 4 gray whales south of Platform Holly. The group averaged 3 minutes down and 4 up.

One the coastal trip home we cruised slowly by another pair of gray whales. We were already late for the harbor and the whales were heading in the opposite direction. Nonetheless, the quick looks were solid.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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