2017 06-17 SB Channel
Camelo, the famous blue whale, was among 9 we encountered today. [For new readers, Camelo is a large animal with a big depression in its back, between the rostrum and dorsal fin. It was first spotted years ago off Baja California and was named.] Also observed were 1,400 long-beaked common dolphins and 5 humpback whales. Many dozens of California sea lions were in the Santa Barbara Channel too. There was a bit of low stratus at the start of the trip, but it cleared up before we hit mid-Channel. Seas were calm.
It was great to see Camelo again, and it was the first cetacean located today. We watched several lengthy breathing cycles and watched this unusual animal fluke-up as well. This giant was alone in the area south of Platform Habitat, except for one nearby, shy humpback whale. A few miles further south we located a group of 400 dolphins plus two more humpbacks in the mix.
We continued south to the general blue whale hot spots we had the past few days. We ended up in the northbound shipping lanes and north of Chinese Harbor. Here we first located an additional 2 giant blue whales. One of them was a good tail-fluker. There were more spouts east of our location, and soon we were in a zone with five additional blue whales…and another tail-fluker. We were literally surrounded by blue whales far and near. The sun was shining and the bright blue body of these beasts could be seen clearly under the surface.
On the way back to Santa Barbara Harbor we came across more humpback whales working an area with at least 1,000 additional dolphins. It was another spectacular day full of wildlife.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.