2018 05-08 SB Coast
Heavy fog, with near zero lateral visibility on the water, persisted from our exit of Santa Barbara Harbor until we ran west past the UCSB campus. Here the fog lifted to become a low stratus layer, but allowed for wildlife spotting on the water. Sightings for the day included 2 gray whales, 400 long-beaked common dolphins and 8 inshore bottlenose dolphins.
When the fog lifted we were located by a large herd of common dolphins just off Naples Reef. They rode our bow, side and stern waves and were a lot of fun to watch, as always. At this point Captain Dave slowly started heading back to the east and the general direction of the harbor. Along the route, the dense zero visibility fog returned, and Dave decided to slowly search the kelp line. Near Hendry’s beach a mother gray whale and her very young calf were found. The pair was in and out of the kelp and the calf led its’ mother all the way. Soon a bunch of larger dolphins, the coastal or inshore bottlenose, found the whales and the Condor Express.
We watched quite a bit of interaction between the bottlenose dolphins and the gray whales. The little calf appeared to be most “excited,” or “playful,” as it rolled around and swam on its side with the dolphins. What a great sight it was!
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com