Seven fins, two grays and some porpoises.
2018 02-16 SB Channel – Captain Dave and his crew once again found excellent sea and weather conditions in the Santa Barbara Channel as the Condor Express located and closely watched the following: 7 fin whales, 2 gray whales and 4 Dall’s porpoises.
The trip started by heading west and finding a single gray whale in the Channel outside UCSB. The gray whale was a bit shy, but represents the first NORTHbound whale of the season. (See yesterday’s report for more on that subject). A short time later a giant fin whale was located and watched, again, offshore from Campus Point.
From UCSB, Dave headed south across the Channel in the general direction of beautiful Santa Cruz Island. Just past mid-Channel, in The Lanes, a large group of active fin whales was located and watched. The crystal clear “Santa Barbara cobalt” water permitted excellent underwater viewing of these giants as they swam up and around the Condor Express. Dave thinks they were feeding just beneath the surface.
The fin whale encounter was followed by a tour of the majestic sea cliffs and sea caves of Santa Cruz Island. Conditions were so calm and wonderful that Dave and his crew were able to penetrate the outer chamber of The Cave which is a special thrill for sure.
As the Condor left The Cave and was about to head back home, a very small, juvenile gray whale popped up right next to the boat and spent some time swimming around looking at its fans.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express
NOTE: depending on sea conditions, we will shift over to our 3-trips a day, coastal northbound gray whale trips next Monday. FYI.