In case you ever wondered, rain does not stop the mammals. They are wet anyway. Hah. We headed out into the rainy Santa Barbara Channel and saw many spouts across the waves until we settled down with 2 friendly and active gray whales. One of them breached twice and, rain or no rain, it was wonderful. A handful of common dolphins came by as we watched the big cetaceans. Before long we spotted an additional 2 spouts not far east of our location. This pair was equally friendly and we got great looks. Both whales fluked up on every (shallow and short) dive. It continued to rain. All the gray whales were southbounders running along the inside corridor in 90 to 300 feet of water. The second pair eventually passed between the infamous Platform Alpha and Platform Hillhouse. Next we ran further offshore to explore the humpback whale zone without finding any…then turned west and made a slow and observant trek to More Mesa before spinning the boat around and taking a homeward route. Near More Mesa we encountered a very large herd of long-beaked common dolphins. They were spread out, but were very attracted to the boat, rode the bow, leaped along both sides, and surfed our wake for nearly 40 minutes. Not long after playing with the commons about a dozen Pacific white-sided dolphins found us and now it was their turn to leap, play and ride. It continued to rain even as we docked and left the boat. It was a gentle but relentless rain…nice to see.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express