2020 08-27 SB Channel
Moderate winds blew down upon us from the northwest and made the sea surface a bit choppy-but-doable. The sun was bright and skies were blue…so was the clear ocean water. Captain Dave and his crew battled the sideways seas to return to the land of the giants north of Chinese Harbor and Scorpion Anchorage, Santa Cruz Island. Sightings included 5+ giant blue whales and 300 short-beaked common dolphins.
We crossed paths with a nice herd of short-beaked common dolphins not too far offshore. They were moving east and surfing every ocean swell that rolled by. This would be our only dolphin sighting of the trip.
Not long after the dolphin encounter, Captain Dave, an avid marine birder, spotted a single black storm petrel zig-zagging across the waves in front of the Condor Express, followed by a small flock of red-necked phalaropes. Good going, Dave!
Kudos to the crew, especially Osprey-eyes Devin and keen-eyed Austin, who took spray and held on as we navigated the swells, and still somehow spotted the tall spouts we were seeking. There were probably 8- 10 giant blue whales in the area, and we closely watched 5 of them. A few were good tail flukers, including “Uno” the whale with the tail deformation that we saw 2 days ago in this same location. One of my personal all-time favorite sights is to see the largest animals to ever live on the planet earth, in clear cobalt water, bright sun, and busting through the on-coming swells. I also love seeing what the wind does to their tall spouts, whipping the spray down wind.
While we were among the giant blue whales, south of The Lanes, a 277 x 40.04 m container ship, President Wilson, passed us as she sailed towards her destination in Oakland, CA.
See you on board!
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com