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Summer weather continues with 5 different species of marine mammals.

2022 02-11 SB Channel

What a week! It’s been gorgeous in the Channel with bright blue skies, warm sun and glassy smooth seas. Our totals for the day included: 5 gray whales, 300 long-beaked common dolphins, 40 California sea lions, 14 coastal bottlenose dolphins and 40 offshore bottlenose dolphins. The action took place throughout the Santa Barbara Channel and up into the Santa Cruz Channel.

A large (for this sub-species) pod of coastal bottlenose dolphins located the Condor Express as we rounded the sandspit when leaving the harbor. We had great looks at these medium-large dolphins right in our own “back yard.” Further offshore we began to pick up various small groups of common dolphins. Some were larger groups feeding on northern anchovies. The water was so clear we could look down and see these little silver fish that provide food for the mammals and sea birds we watch in the Channel. A mob of California sea lions was also feeding on this larger hot spot.

As we reached The Lanes, on the way to the western end of beautiful Santa Cruz Island, we were able to find a nice pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins by seeing their spouts in the distance. The pod was fairly active with a bit of leaping and high flying, and there were lots of calves in the mix.

We rounded Fraser Point and moved up into the Santa Cruz Channel, moving across towards Santa Rosa Island. The first whale had long down times and was milling around…alternating between what seemed like a southbound heading and a northbound heading. Shortly thereafter we watched a more cooperative pair of whales that were definitely heading to Mexico. Finally, as we were preparing to turn around and head home, we saw the spouts of another pair at a distance.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

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