2016 02-14 SB Channel
The fog that plagued the Santa Barbara Channel was nowhere to be seen, and there was a light breeze on top of a long-period northwest ground swell, perfect for whale spotting.
Captain Eric and his crew took the Condor Express to the southwest and out on the 50-fathom curve located and watched 3 gray whales as they moved steadily on their southbound migration without much tom-foolery. After some nice looks at these gray’s, Eric headed east to put the wind and seas astern. South of Hogan there was an area rich with northern anchovies and some bait ball hot spots had developed. Alongside the long-beaked common dolphins and California sea lions, at least 6 humpback whales were observed surface lunge feeding on these fish. Within a half-hour of getting set upon the feeding frenzy, the humpbacks began to roll around, slap their pectorals, and breach a few times.
Moving onward we found another 7 humpback whales for a total of 13 for the trip with many more in the area. Common dolphin estimates were around 200 individuals. Almost as much fun as seeing all these whales and dolphins was being on board with several television star celebrities. Cast members from the highly successful and popular Masterpiece public television series Downton Abbey were out whale watching with us today.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express
PS This was our last 4½ whale watch for a while. Tomorrow we begin running 2½ hour trips, three times a day: 9a, 12n, 3p. Our target will be coastal species such as northbound gray whales and possibly more humpback whales too.