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Two mid-Santa Barbara Channel gray whales and more

A gray whale flukes up on an epic sunny December day.

Two mid-Santa Barbara Channel gray whales and more

We ran south heading offshore and ran smack into a nice herd of long beaked common dolphins. The were heading east in super clear, blue water. After some nice playtime, we continued east-southeast and quickly came upon two southbound gray whales. This is pretty far off the beach an no where near the Islands, but nonetheless, they provided great looks and consistent tail flukes. As a side note, the two grays were moving along at a whopping 5 knots or more. Whew!

After traveling alongside the gray whales for a while, we continued east hoping to get into the same area where we had the two humpbacks for the past 2 days. The region was ripe with seabirds, including brown pelicans, Brandt’s cormorants, a few phalaropes, at least two species of shearwater, lots of western grebes, a few Cassin’s auklets and the gulls. Most of these birds were so stuffed with anchovies they could not fly. And, pardon this indelicate observation, when they pooped they left a distinct trail of silvery scales behind. Sorry for that. This productive feeding area also yielded 3 or more Minke whales, and at least 1,500 common dolphins.

It was a sunny day with glassy seas.

We do not run again until my birthday, Dec 26. See you on board !

Happy holidays

Bob Perry Condor Express

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