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Stunning island tour yields a gray whale and lots of dolphins.

Image: A gray whales at Santa Cruz Island


2024 01-05 SB Channel


Although it was clear, sunny and there was not much wind, a short-interval western chop rolled down The Channel from rough seas outside our zone. Captain Dave referred to both sky and water color as being Santa Barbara cobalt.  Sightings included: 1 gray whale, 30 California sea lions and 1200 long-beaked common dolphins.


A tiny pod of dolphins intersected our southeasterly path about miles offshore. We’d find a larger pod 7 miles out that was in a birdnado with a group of hungry sea lions. After running along the north face of beautiful Santa Cruz Island, a mega pod of dolphins that stretched across Chinese Harbor was watched.


The island is now quite green and the sea cliffs were shrouded in a mist that came from the western chop blowing through cracks, crevices and blowholes. As we continued east, we located and watched a single gray whale off Cavern Point and Scorpion Anchorage. (See today’s photograph for an example). The whale was up for 4 breaths, then down for 5 minutes. Its underwater path was a bit erratic and hard to follow.


A single deflated, floating Mylar balloon was picked up along the island.


Bob PerryCondor Express, and

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