A southbound gray whale was seen migrating along the sea cliffs of Santa Cruz Island
Spectacular vistas, dolphins and a nice gray whale.
Offshore winds and a light rain greeted us this morning in Santa Barbara, but the rain passed by quickly and we remained dry for the rest of the adventure. There were, however, larger squalls offshore that formed a basis of the spectacular vistas we enjoyed on this silvery day. The sun broke out around noon. As we left Santa Barbara Harbor we watched 2 inshore bottle-nose dolphins that were fairly shy but we got a few good looks in before we continued out towards Santa Cruz Island. Around mid-Channel we watched a small pod of long beaked common dolphins, and a few more pods here and thereafter. Perhaps as many as 500 common #dolphins were seen in total. After a futile search of the humpback and blue whale grounds from last weekend we turned west and ran parallel to Santa Cruz Island until we ventured into the Santa Cruz Channel (between Santa Rosa Island and Santa Cruz Island) looking for spouts. Just after lunch was served deckhand Augie (or was it Captain Eric?) found a small sized, southbound gray whale moving eastward out of the Santa Cruz Channel and heading for the sea cliffs along the north face of Santa Cruz Island. This small gray had short down times of just a few minutes and good surface/spouting times. Viewing this migrating mammal, as part of the gray whale migration, with the cliffs of the Island in the background was spectacular, and a harbinger of things to come as the number of grays increases every day. More spectacular vistas were enjoyed as we saw the now green western end of Santa Cruz Island with the east wind-driven clouds spilling over the crests of the mountain peaks.
We all hope the killer whales reported today south of our location will head north for the weekend. You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express
PS I’ll put the rest of the photographs in the web this weekend.