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Wind and rain were long gone and the Channel was beautiful and full of mammals!


Image: A pair of friendly bottlenose dolphins in the Santa Barbara Channel.


2023 08-22 SB Channel

Captain Devin and his crew took a direct southwesterly course until we were just a bit north of the NOAA East Channel Buoy. Moving west from there, we had some fabulous sightings. Seas were calm. Skies were blue and there was no wind. Sightings for the day included: 5 humpback whales, 2000 long-beaked common dolphins and 100 offshore bottlenose dolphins.


Along our outbound path we were intercepted by several pods of common dolphins that came to look at their fans and ride our wake waves. We’d find even more of these dolphins on the humpback whale grounds.


We were about 7 miles offshore when we watched our first whale. All of the whales today were juveniles except the last one sighted. The single whale was followed by a pair and another single. All of the whales seemed to be in transit and other than some excellent tail flukes, no other “behaviors” except one, were seen. The last whale, the only adult, was located when we spotted a dramatic breach in the distance.


At one point, as we hopped along our westerly path moving from whale to whale, we found a large pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins. (See today’s photograph). More often than not this species gets into a wonderful and highly active “mood,” and high-flying leaps and acrobatics of all kinds were seen. This pod had a large number of little calves in the mix. So fun to watch!


You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

CondorExpressPhotos.com

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