2018 04-06 SB Coast
Captain Dave and his crew ran three great trips today and saw the following: 7 gray whales, 600 long-beaked common dolphins and 8 inshore bottlenose dolphins. Conditions were calm in the morning but a moderate breeze and chop developed on the late afternoon excursion.
On the morning run the bottlenose dolphins located the Condor Express up around the lighthouse. We had great looks at these large animals. After a while a pair of gray whales came into view. The two were young, small animals, perhaps yearlings. On the way home, and a few miles offshore, several hundred common dolphins found the boat.
At noon three whales were closely followed along the kelp superhighway. A few hundred common dolphins found us and rode our bow, side and stern waves. By the time we got back to the harbor the breeze was beginning to freshen up.
Despite the wind and chop, the late afternoon trip was the most surprising of all three trips. Along the kelp line, near More Mesa, a mother gray whale and her new calf-of-the-season were found. As sometimes happens, we were fortunate to come along during the calf’s “playtime.” The little whale breached at least 20 times and was still breaching when we had to depart for home. In between breaches, it rolled around and did a lot of chin-slapping. At Goleta Bay we parted ways…it was emblematic of what this part of the migration is all about. The next few weeks will bring more and more calves.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express