2015 09-21 SB Channel
Beat the heat. Whale watch with us in the Santa Barbara Channel. In fact, there was a fantastic moderate to heavy breeze blowing across the Channel today and it set up some nice choppy seas with white caps everywhere. If that doesn’t cool off a hot human, I don’t know what will. Captain Eric carefully set out across the Channel and navigated wind and waves to check on some of the usual spots where cetaceans have been lately. The heavy seas did not make it easy to find whales, and we did not see any on our way over to Santa Cruz Island.
At Santa Cruz, Eric gave us a tour of the north face around Fry’s and down almost as far east as Prisoner’s. Here we found our first major marine mammal sighting of the day. A few hundred yards off the island we watched at least 50 California sea lions all rafting together on the surface. This mob was tame and did not panic as the Condor Express slowly circled them. It was a beautiful sight…all these furry brown bodies huddled tight in the blue water.
On our way home the sea conditions did not affect the boat as much as they did on the way out. It was still bumpy with white caps and no marine mammals were found until we had passed Habitat and on our way to the rig line. Our friend Dr. Mark spotted a breaching whale about 2 miles ahead of us, and sure enough, upon arriving on the scene the tiny whale turned out to be Speckles the humpback whale who we saw a few days ago. This time Speckles was highly animated. It breached a few times, slapped its white pectoral fins, rolled around, lobbed its tail and did some nice kelping too. This was one super-charged juvenile humpback whale.
We got back to the Harbor a little late but nobody seemed to care since the sightings were few but powerful.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express