2017 04-30 SB Coast
It was a stunning day in the Santa Barbara Channel and the gray whale calves keep marching on. Ocean conditions were superb all day long with a mirror glass sea surface and a bright warm sun in the sky. Total sightings for the day included: 6 gray whales, 20 long-beaked common dolphins and at least 35 California sea lions.
9 am As we left the Santa Barbara Harbor on our 9 AM excursion I spotted two gray whales to the east. It turned out to be a mother gray whale and her calf swimming inside the East Beach Anchorage. The whales meandered through all the moored boats and came close to the famous Stearns Wharf. They eventually swam around the Wharf and headed up the coast. After leaving these whales and moving the Condor Express west just a little bit the crew found a second gray whale cow-calf pair at the Boathouse and followed them for quite a while in the kelp beds. Around 10:25 AM Captain Eric took the Condor outside into some deeper water and ran east towards the famous oil rig line. Just north of platform Henry there were several bait ball hotspots with common dolphins and California sea lions feeding alongside brown pelicans, elegant terns and other sea birds
12 noon On this excursion we carefully scoured the kelp beds all the way from the harbor up to Goleta city limits where we encountered a very friendly mother gray whale and her calf. By “friendly” I mean the pair approached the boat several times as Captain Eric held the boat stationary in the water. The water was just clear enough to get some outstanding looks at the size differential between the 40 foot mother and her 10 foot calf. As usual, the calf led the way out to see the boat and mom followed. The gray whale calves keep marching on!
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express