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The species and numbers of marine mammals were out of sight.

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2017 11-19 SB Channel

It was still very sunny but the air temperature dropped a couple of degrees so you didn’t get over-heated when the Condor Express stopped on whales. Captain Dave and his eagle-eyed second captain, Tasha, took the boat south towards the middle of Santa Cruz Island and both the species and numbers of marine mammals were out of sight. 6* humpback whales, 5* blue whales and dozens of California sea lions were closely watched today. In addition, *many more blues and humpbacks were seen all around the boat.

We crossed the Santa Barbara Channel and both shipping lanes before watching our first whales today around 1120. I was on the flying bridge with my camera enjoying the view of beautiful Santa Cruz Island when, in the distance…perhaps two miles…two humpbacks breached together simultaneously. Although it may have been impossible to photograph this double breach, the whales continued breaching in the distance albeit not synchronously. In addition to the numerous breaches, pectoral fin slaps, chin slaps and a lot of rolling around took place.

1154 – There were tall spouts everywhere, so Dave decided to make a run for the nearest pair which turned out to be giant blue whales. The whales had medium long down times and normal surface times. The larger of the two whales fluked up on one of its terminal dives. Soon a second pair of giants showed up and one of them made a very close approach. More tall spouts were all around in the distance. Gorgeous.

After some quality looks at the giants Dave reversed course and ran back to the east to watch other humpback whales not viewed during the morning encounter. Some nice looks were had when, out of the deep, a single, small blue whale surfaced directly off our bow and people up on the front were looking at its blowholes and spout spray close up and personal.

105 – Time to head back across the Channel to home.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.| Bob Perry Condor Express

Photos from trips will be online at

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