Augie gets a Blue Whale
Augie, a deck hand on the Condor Express, has many talents and this week one of them has really come to light. He has what we like to call “whale eyes.” And today his whale eyes spotted a giant blue whale. Now keep in mind this whale had down times running between 8 and 10 minutes, so the Condor Express could easily have cruised right past it. Thanks, Augie! Weather and sea conditions were great today, although the day started off with a marine layer it quickly disappeared by the time we got to the famous Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island. On the way across the Santa Barbara Channel we stopped and played with a big herd of common #dolphins with about 1,500 animals in the pack. One large calf, perhaps a “teenager,” kept leaping and doing a tail slap upon re-entry. Again the water was clear and blue. After our visit to the Cave, Captain Dave steered the boat on a westward track along a line which we affectionately call “the ridge,” and has been a hot spot for big baleen whales feeding over the past decade or so. After a trek along the ridge Augie found us the blue whale. The bright blue streak shining up from below the surface in the sunlight, from whence this beast got its common name, was awesome to see. I’ll post the photos sometime tomorrow to the Condor Express Photos website. A final note: Dave found us a medium large ocean sunfish (Mola mola) that posed for pictures along the starboard railing…what a ham !
There was a fleeting glimpse of a Minke whale on the way out, and a far away breaching humpback on the way back in. Another pod of common dolphins came to play not too far off the mainland coast. Things appear to be looking up !
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.