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Sperm whale and 3 blue whales.

Captain Eric had to deal with a lot today, but a sperm whale cheered him up. First, there was a bit of a swell in the Santa Barbara Channel.  Next, it was overcast and the stratus was low enough to make poor lateral visibility in spots.  These low clouds packed a lot of moisture and light rain and drizzle added to Eric’s woes because none of these things are optimal for finding whales.  Furthermore, the Condor Express crossed the entire Channel without encountering a single dolphin. But then things started to look a tad more positive.

A sharp-eyed passenger pointed out a large, dark, floating object in the near distance. At first the crew thought it might be a humpback whale taking a siesta.  Upon close examination, and confirmed by the size, shape and spout angle, it was a very large sperm whale.  How rare are sperm whale sightings around here?  In ten years of being staff photographer I’ve only seen one.  It was a dead one that washed up near UCSB and I photographed mammologist Michelle Berman inside the beast doing a necropsy.

Needless to say, this was a joyous occasion and broke the dreary “spell” that the fog had generated earlier. After a good hour with this sperm whale, including one very close approach, the Condor headed further southwest and watched 3 giant blue whales.  It was a day for beasts, not dolphins.

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

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