Tales of many whales.
There was a wonderful southbound gray whale not far outside Santa Barbara Harbor as we left and headed south to Santa Cruz Island. We followed this gray whale for a whale and were rewarded with a nice breach! Wow! From here we ran west up the coast and not too far offshore of the UCSB campus there were giant bait balls with the usual carnivorous birds and at least 2,000 common dolphins feeding. The area looked ripe for humpback whales, and sure enough, before too long 2 nice knobby-headed beasts broke the surface. There were short down times and great tail flukes, but no surface feeding demonstrated today. It was a great sight to have two species of great baleen whales and so many dolphins at the start of the trip.
Back on our southerly track, we ran over and took a great look at the world famous Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island. In the tidal areas on both sides of the Cave there were numerous harbor seals hauled out in the sun. To the east, there were more harbor seals on the rocks and a great fly-over by a bald eagle as we neared Cueva Valdez. Wow, again! It was eventually time to head north and back to Santa Barbara, and then, about a mile or so off the face of the Island, we found a second southbound gray whale for some additional good looks.
It was a special day with tales of many whales.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry
PS Tomorrow is the last Island whale watch, and on Saturday we switch to coastal grays and maybe some other species (like Humpbacks?) too !