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Single trip yields gray whale calf, also a nice birdnado

Image: a hot spot, or “birdnado”

2024 04-12 SB Coast

Captain Dave and the Condor Express crew ran a single 9 AM excursion today. Conditions were moderately uncomfortable with a southeast wind blowing up against the north swell. We experienced a light to medium chop on the water, and overcast skies with periods of drizzle. Total sightings for the trip included: 2 Gray whales, 400 Long-beaked common dolphins, and 50 California sea lions.

We first encountered a mother gray whale with her calf cruising along the kelp beds near Hope Ranch. We tucked in behind at a safe distance and followed the pair all the way up to Goleta. At this point we headed offshore a few miles and then turned east back towards home.

When we were just past the Kelp Farm we found two large pods of dolphins. The first was smaller than the second and was spread out over 1/2 mile of ocean water. The second one was tightly packed and not spread out. A birdnado formed here and California sea lions were in on it with the dolphins and the birds. 

You  never know what Mother Nature has in store,

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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