Summer-like hot and glassy conditions yields 5 humpback whales, 3000 dolphins.
2020 10-14 Santa Cruz Island – West
Seas were mirror glassy flat all day which reflected the bright blue sky and hot sun. Although there was not a trace of wind all day, a small swell from winds blowing to the northwest rolled through the land of the giants. The water clarity was spectacular and had that famous “Santa Barbara cobalt” color for wonderful looks at the cetaceans below the surface as well as on top. Sightings today included 5 humpback whales and 3000 long-beaked common dolphins. Additionally, 2 Mylar balloons were retrieved from the ocean surface by the crew, potentially saving marine animals’ lives.
Six to eight miles offshore there was the first of several megapods of dolphins actively feeding and surrounded by sea birds. Soon three individual humpbacks joined the feast, and the two species worked the northern anchovy bait balls together. The speedy dolphins rounded up and condensed the school so the giant mouth of the whale could engulf the whole lot at once.
Captain Dave moved west a few miles north of the Santa Cruz Island sea cliffs. He gave one of his special discourses on the geological history, prehistoric human populations, and current status of this wonderful island, the largest of the eight southern California islands.
Further west another megapod of feeding dolphins and sea birds was home to an additional pair of whales.
You never know what Mother Nature has instore.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com