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Seven gray whales and a single Minke with great coastal conditions

Image: nautical chart showing the track for both trips today;

orange and red shows when we slowed to make sightings.

2023 03-31 SB Coast

Captain Dave reported calm seas and sunny skies in the Channel until noon. The coastal scenery was spectacular as the sun kept shining on Santa Barbara even when we were under some clouds at sea. Sightings for the day included 7 Pacific gray whales and 1 Minke whale.

A tight group of three adult gray whales were watched during the morning excursion. The sighting started about 4 miles south of Hope Ranch. The trio had long surface times and showed tail flukes frequently. There was a bit of rolling around at times.

At noon, after a short southeasterly jaunt towards the Summerland oil platforms, we spent some time with a nice Minke whale. It followed a predictable path and we had good looks. Following this encounter Dave and the crew searched for mammals west to Platform Holly then ran back towards the harbor closer to shore. We watched two pairs of somewhat shy gray whales, one pair followed the other by about ¼ mile.

You never know what mother nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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