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Sunday Cetacean-orama

2021 03-14 SB COAST

Three coastal gray whale watching trips left Santa Barbara Harbor: 9 AM, 12 noon, and 3 PM. Skies were mostly cloudy with patches of blue here and there. Sea conditions started out very calm and glassy but by the end of the day it was getting a bit bumpy and windy out there. Nonetheless, excellent sightings were had by all including 8 Pacific gray whales and 50 offshore bottlenose dolphins.

On the morning trip, we ran up the coast and made a left turn at Campus Point. When we were about seven or 8 miles offshore a large and very active herd of offshore bottlenose dolphins located the Condor Express. Per usual, they were very friendly and easy to watch. Always such a fun species! During the dolphin show, we noticed some activity just inside of our location which turned out to be 2 adult gray whales.

At high noon we didn’t get much time to travel around because just outside the harbor we found our first pair of gray whales. Soon thereafter we found the only single gray whale of the trip and it turned out to be a breacher! It breached twice in a row. Finally, the trip ended on a high note with two an additional pairs of gray whales that were very boat-friendly and everyone got great looks and selfies.

The afternoon trip was a whole different story as the wind and the seas had come up quickly. Although we did spot three additional whales, the waves and wind prevented us from staying with these animals for satisfactory watching. We returned the docks thankful to have had such a wonderful trips earlier in the day.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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