2016 01-01 SB Channel
Happy New Year !
Sunny skies and humpback whales prevailed in our zone of the Santa Barbara Channel today. It was a spectacular start to the new year. The sightings started right away in shallow water just east of Santa Barbara Harbor, with the first of 6 humpback whales and a handful of long-beaked common dolphins. It was a good encounter but the whale was spending very little time breathing, and a lot of time diving.
Moving out past the 40-fm curve Captain Dave and his crew found the remaining 5 of the 6 total humpback whales, and they were feeding near a surface anchovy bait ball and hot spot. This area was full of dolphins, seabirds, sea lions and humpbacks too. You could see the bait ball as you looked over the side of the Condor Express. At least 450 dolphins rounded out the cetacean count for the day.
A very strong and unusual southeast wind kicked up and started to make the conditions a bit bumpy. As we were near the offshore oil platforms en route back to the harbor, Dave slowed down and gave one of his famous explanations of the oil rigs, their crew, their payload and history. The SE wind was on our stern for the last leg of the trip back home, and thus the ride was comfy and smooth.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express