The blue whale zone moved a bit closer to land…lots of dolphins all around.

2020 08-02 SB Channel

Captain Colton and the crew traversed the Santa Barbara Channel under blues skies and bright sunshine all day. Seas were calmer near the mainland and a moderately choppy nearer the islands. We were en route to Santa Cruz Island when the following species were closely watched: 5+ giant Blue whales, 20 offshore Bottlenose dolphins, 2 Mylar balloons and 30 Long-beaked common dolphins.

The first giant was spotted by crewman Austin close to the NOAA East Channel Buoy. It was a large adult whale and showed its tail for us on one of the dives we watched. A mile east, 4 additional giants were scattered within the same region. Three were large adults and one was a smaller whale. Deckhand Devin located the first deadly Mylar balloon which was shaped like a big number three and retrieved by us.

Moving southward to the island side of the buoy, a group of friendly offshore bottlenose dolphins came over and surfed our bow, side and stern waves for a while.

On the way home, Captain Colton spotted our second balloon, shaped like a large star. It, too, was salvaged by the crew and sent to the trash dump where it should have been in the first place.

Later, as we past Platform Habitat on our way towards the Summerland oil platform line, a few small groups of Long-beaked common dolphins were observed…and rounded-out the sightings on this fabulous day in the Channel.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

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