Friends, There were pristine and stellar conditions out in the Santa Cruz Channel (Between the two islands, Sta Cruz and Sta Rosa) today. Hardly and winds, glassy and what little northeast breeze there was was warm from passing over the island. I guess the wildlife felt the same way we did: this is the place to be! The sightings don't tell the whole story, so please read onward after the sightings to learn more about what happened out there today:
Sightings: 6 Gray Whales (plus more in the distance)
1,500 Long-beak Common Dolphins
500 Risso's Dolphins
1 Northern Elephant Seal (mid channel, a juvenile)
Every year at this time the southbound Gray Whales must pass through the acres of Risso's Dolphins that have congregated on the squid grounds off the west end of Santa Cruz Island and up into the Santa Cruz Channel. Occasionally the two species, Risso's and Grays, interact with each other and the Gray whale behavior is fascinating as well as completely wild/unexpected. We observed 3 adult Grays rolling around, laying on their sides, spy-hopping (often in unison), and generally carrying on as if they were mating. All the while the Risso's Dolphins and, naturally, the California Sea Lions, were in close proximity to the Gray Whales. The melange appears to lose track of where they are and often approach the Condor Express, to the delight of the passengers and the camera of yours truly. Amazing. I'll try to get this stuff up on the website by tomorrow afternoon.
ATTENTION: THERE ARE ONLY A FEW WEEKS LEFT OF THIS AMAZING SOUTHBOUND GRAY WHALE MIGRATION OUT AT THE ISLANDS. TOO SOON THEY WILL BE DONE FOR 2012 AND THE SCHEDULE WILL SHIFT TO COASTAL 2.5 HOUR TRIPS FOR NORTHBOUND WHALES RETURNING TO THE ARCTIC. DON'T MISS THIS SHOW WHILE YOU STILL HAVE A GREAT CHANCE OF SEEING UNPREDICTABLE WILD BEHAVIORS. PASS THE WORD TO YOUR CLIENTS AND FRIENDS WHILE THIS SPECTACULAR SUNNY WEATHER CONTINUES TO SHINE UPON US AND BRING GOOD FORTUNE. (Sheesh, did I write that? Whew!) Call 888-77WHALE or 805-882-0088 to book your trip.
Visit our website: https://www.CondorCruises.com ..or to view images from today's adventure as well as previous trips: https://www.condorexpressphotos.com Like us on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/condor.express
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In addition to the expert crew on the Condor Express with over 35 years of experience, Channel Islands Naturalist Corps volunteer naturalists, representatives from the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and National Park, are usually on board and available to answer your questions during the trip.
Best fishes and have a WHALE of a day!
Bob Perry Condor Express