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Two different Minke whales, lotsa dolphins

2020 06-12 SB Channel

We ran southwest on the 9am trip, east on the nooner. Morning conditions were very nice on the ocean, but a low stratus layer kept things cool and gray. By the afternoon the winds from the west picked up and blew the clouds away, but caused the sea surface to get a little bit choppy. Sightings for the day included: 2 Minke whales and 1600 long-beaked common dolphins. Sooty shearwaters were everywhere in small flocks.

We spent time with both Minke whales on the morning excursion. The first was smaller and had a less prominent dorsal fin. It also approached the Condor Express on one of its surface intervals. The second was larger and had a tall dorsal fin. It was not as friendly but we had good looks nonetheless.

Only one Mylar balloon, a very rich looking solid gold one, was found and retrieved today.

Dolphins were abundant in both small and large groups on both trips. Some pods were on a definite course heading and didn’t hang around the boat too much. Others were actively surface feeding and were boat friendly, albeit short and sweet. Some of the pods were on a leisurely swim and spent a lot of time with us. One group in particular rode our stern waves for about 15 minutes before breaking back to their original course heading.

Our last “sighting” was a close look at offshore oil platform Alpha, one of the seven platforms seen off the coast of Carpinteria. Many of you will remember that Platform A (Alpha) was the notorious platform that sprung a bad leak in 1969. It fouled the waters and beaches and is credited by some as the “last straw” which caused the formation of the modern environmental movement, Earth Day, etc.

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

Condor Express, and

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