2016 05-05 SB Coast
NWS forecast: drizzle in the morning and chance of rain in the afternoon. Reality: Mostly sunny and zero wind. Another oily glass (and dry) day.
12 noon Just beyond the outer buoy, the red and white one, the sharp eyes of second Captain Eric spotted the first of 3 gray whale (mother-calf) pairs for this excursion. We were alongside and watching by 12:15pm. During our enjoyment of this first pair on a gray-blue mirror ocean, a second pair showed up between us and the beach and inside the first two. For a while we could simultaneously watch both pairs, one on the port side of the Condor Express, and the other on the starboard. But alas, the inside pair moved quickly in a straight path along the kelp highway, and the second pair did a bunch of looping around and, at one point, made a short nursing stop. They were pestered by 4 inshore bottlenose dolphins for a few minutes as well.
Moving offshore around 100pm we located a single humpback whale about 5 miles south of the Harbor. It had 5-6 minute down times showed its tail many times. Again the mirror glass surface made the sighting even more magical. Finally, just outside Santa Barbara Harbor on the way home Dave spotted our third and final gray whale cow-calf pair. What a day!
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express
Don’t Forget: Monday we return to our island whale watch 4½ trips; 10 am to 230pm.