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Sperm whale today

Image: Today’s Condor Express tracks and our Sperm Whale sighting location in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2023 08-11 SB Channel

High stratus and flat, calm seas prevailed once again in our neck of The Channel. Water clarity remained very good. Sightings today: 1 Sperm Whale, 500 Offshore Bottlenose Dolphins, and 2000 Long-Beaked Common Dolphins.

We were 8 miles out when our first interaction with medium-sized pod of common dolphins occurred. We’d see more small-to-medium-sized pods of this species throughout the rest of the trip.

Captain Dave pushed south and across The Lanes adjacent to the West End of Santa Cruz Island. It was here that we made one of our most uncommon sightings: a sperm whale. (The last sperm whale I saw was washed up on the beach near UCSB April 10, 2007). We had two fabulous surface intervals and had great looks at this species. By the way, its dive times were around 30 minutes.

Studies have recorded sperm whales in deeper water south of the Channel Islands and ranging to the southern Channel Islands. Once in a while they come into the Santa Barbara Channel and today we hit the jackpot.

On the way home we crossed paths with a pod of at least 50 offshore bottlenose dolphins. They became very active surfers using our wake waves, and some of their rides launched them 20-feet or more into the air. What a treat!

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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