2020 11-11 SB Channel
There was cool fall weather, clear skies, no wind and unlimited vistas to behold in the Santa Barbara Channel today. The water was also very blue and clear. A small bump from overnight winds to the northwest didn’t do much to deter our locating and closely watching: 3+ humpback whales, 1 fin whale, 1 giant blue whale, 500 short- beaked common dolphins and 400 long-beaked common dolphins. Our course took us to the southwest where we ended up in The Lanes north of Carrington Point, Santa Rosa Island.
Calm seas and wonderful views of mainland and island canyons were the only “sightings” for the first leg of the excursion. Our first of the 5 different species of cetacean was a lone adult humpback located just past the NOAA weather buoy. It was moving slowly west. We continued to aim for Santa Rosa.
Soon a large pod of highly animated short-beaked common dolphins located the Condor Express. As is often the case, these little cetaceans were very aerial today including several “high flyers.” Other acrobatics were watched as well. Captain Dave continued his heading to Santa Rosa waters.
In The Lanes north of Carrington Point we watched 2 additional humpbacks, one a juvenile. Both were moving along without deep dives and did not fluke-up. Additional humpback spouts were seen in the vicinity. A very friendly fin whale came up close and swam alongside the boat for quite a while. Great looks were had by all.
The sharp and earnest eyes of one of our deckhands detected a tall spout at a moderate distance. He was adamant about it belonging to a giant blue whale. Upon reaching the area, it was, indeed, a large adult whale that took several long surface breathing intervals and did the typical circling around that our local giant blues are known for.
While we watched the fin and the giant blue, a large herd of long-beaked common dolphins swam through the zone and interacted with the boat and the whales.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com