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Spectacular Trip to the Far West Channel


A humpback whale is photographed kelping. image: CondorExpressPhotos.com


Spectacular Trip to the Far West Channel

Our friend Dr. Mark spotted a small pod of big inshore bottlenose dolphins just off the Yacht Club and we followed them for a while and had some really great looks.   Thanks Mark!  That’s always a great start to a trip.  Not far offshore we encountered our first of many many many herds of long beaked common dolphins…these #dolphins were with us all day and everywhere we went along our 27 mile trek to the far western reaches of the #SantaBarbara Channel.    A lot of tiny calves were seen and the clear blue water we’ve been experiencing for the past few weeks persisted today, making dolphin watching even more exciting.  We passed Platform Holly and passed Platform Hondo, and ended up finding a wonderful humpback whale north of Platform Harmony  (near Gaviota Pass on the mainland).  This whale was on a pretty darned straight course to the west, and only meandered a few times.  The only times the whale stopped occurred when it encountered a large free floating giant kelp paddy along its route.  Here it was seen throwing its tail and rolling around, perhaps taking advantage of the “touch therapy” of the kelp, or maybe even some “exfoliation” of ectoparasites…no matter, it was spectacular.   The visuals today were greatly enhanced by the bright blue sky and warm sun that broke out of the marine layer about mid-way through the adventure.  The sun made the ocean very blue and gave us all a clear view of the pristine west Santa Barbara coast and mountains.   The breeze came up and gave a very fresh smell of sea air to all and sundry, except, of course, when we got down wind of the spouting humpback whale once or twice.  I’ll post up my photos of the day sometime tomorrow and they will be odor free.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express

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