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Whales and 3 species of dolphins!

2017 11-16 SB Channel – East

It was a delightful, silvery day with interesting cloud patterns and some light sprinkles as we headed south from Santa Barbara Harbor. Captain Dave and his crew successfully located and we closely watched 2 humpback whales, 600 long-beaked common dolphins, 10 coastal bottlenose dolphins and 1000 short-beaked common dolphins. Whales and 3 species of dolphins were seen…what a day!

The tour officially started when Captain Dave paused for a while at Platform A and gave an informative narrative regarding the oil drilling in the Santa Barbara Channel and the somewhat jaded history of this particular rig. We moved on to the southeast and encountered 50 or so long-beaked common dolphins just beyond the rig line.

Continuing south east, it wasn’t too long until we found ourselves just north of Anacapa Passage where a megapod of short-beaked common dolphins found the Condor Express. We watched them for quite a while and noted quite a few calves in the herd. Deckhand (and second Captain) Eric spotted spouts closer to Anacapa Island, but still many miles to the southeast. How does he do it?

Near the north side of West Anacapa Island two humpback whales were located thanks to Eric. We stayed with this pair for nearly an hour and had a wonderful sighting with great looks. At one point the larger of the two whales did a massive tail throw. As a side note, at the end of the sighting the two whales fluked-up side by side and simultaneously with the silhouette of Santa Cruz Island in the background. Beautiful!

A nice pod of inshore (aka, coastal) bottlenose dolphins greeted us as we arrived back home near the entrance to Santa Barbara Harbor.

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

Trip photos online at

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