A humpback whale swam up close to the Condor Express, rolled over to expose its ventral grooves, and slapped its long pectoral flippers. Wow!

Mother humpback and her calf go berserk.

2018 09-25 SB Channel Overcast skies stayed with us most of the day until we got on the hotspot out near Santa Rosa Island. Seas were calm in the north Channel and a little breezy in the south. Sightings for the day included: 2 humpback whales, 1500 long-beaked common dolphins, 100 Risso’s dolphins and about 500 California sea lions. There …

A mother humpback whale and her calf.

A mother humpback and her calf plus so much more.

2018 09-23 SB Channel – West A private whale watch charter hit the jackpot as a wide region of scattered humpbacks and dolphins kept everyone busy with binoculars and cameras.  There was a broken stratus layer that gave way to more sun than cloud around 1130 am.  The sea surface was calm and mostly glassy. The action took place northeast …

A surface lunge-feeding humpback whale surrounded by shearwaters.

Humpbacks get into a feeding frenzy with dolphins and sea lions.

2018 09-22 SB Channel Today’s excursion took us to the western coastal region near Platform Holly, then on a big loop out past the mid-Channel NOAA buoy before heading home.  A deep marine layer and mill pond glass surface persisted until 130pm, and then it got sunny with a slight breeze.  Most of the action took place from Holly and …

So many whales today. They were seen in various sized groups. Here's a trio.

A massive and active hot spot in the north Channel

2018 09-21 SB Channel The northern Santa Barbara Channel (that portion closest to Santa Barbara Harbor) exploded with whales, dolphins and sea lions today.  They were joined by thousands of elegant terns, black-vented shearwaters, phalaropes, gulls, pelicans and a few jaegers.  It was the most massive and active hot spot that I can recall in this region of the Channel.  …

A humpback whale sent some nice spray flying with its tail-flick today

Spectacular day with 9 humpbacks, plus both long- and short-beaked common dolphins.

2018 09-20 SB Channel Captain Dave summed it up: “There was never a time today when we were not involved in wildlife viewing.” That’s what you get when you have sunny skies and a glassy ocean surface alongside a wonderful wildlife invasion.  Totals for closely-watched species included 9 humpback whales, 3000 long-beaked common dolphins, 1500 short-beaked common dolphins, and 250+ …

One of the many friendly humpback whales we saw today in the Santa Barbara Channel.

Amazing array of marine mammals today

2019 09-19 SB Channel Surprisingly, things started out with patches of dense fog and a moderate bump on the surface, but from the mid-Channel and beyond the sun was shining and the surface calmed down.  These conditions permitted the Condor Express staff to locate and closely watch an amazing array of marine mammals today, including: 8 humpback whales*, 3000 long-beaked …

A humpback whale spouts into the breeze

A few thousand dolphins, lots of sea lions and a humpback whale

2018 09-16 SB Channel Captain Tasha and the crew of the Condor Express worked along the mainland coast to the west, then turned offshore and ended up south of The Lanes near Santa Rosa Island. Seas were moderate but nonetheless the following were closely watched:   2500 long-beaked common dolphins and 1 humpback whale.  Hundreds of sea lions were also around …

The hand of Capt Dave Beezer is shown holding a small cluster of krill which we scooped up out of the Santa Barbara Channel.

Krill near the surface, active whales and plenty of dolphins.

2018 09-13 Western Channel Captain Dave and his crew took the Condor Express and its wildlife lovers on a trip up the coast to explore the area near Gaviota for whales and dolphins.  Totals for the day include: 4 humpback whales and 2500 long-beaked common dolphins.  Krill was also seen near the surface in the vicinity of the whales. Up …

Condor Express tracks showing our path today to Gaviota and back. (source: MarineTraffic.com)

Another Gaviota trip produces great sightings and fun.

2018 09-12 Western Channel A light marine layer burned off to become a gorgeous sunny day with very calm seas…ideal for wildlife searching and watching.  Captain Dave and the crew of the Condor Express closely watched: 2 humpback whales, 12 coastal bottlenose dolphins, 2500 long-beaked common dolphins and over 200 California sea lions.  This was a trip “out west,” covering …

A super friendly humpback whale mugged us today. Photo by Capt Dave and his iPhone.

A blue shark, plenty of active humpbacks and lots of dolphins too

2018 09-11 Gaviota Coast A marine layer with some fog kept the sea surface glassy all morning until the sun broke through on our way home.  Captain Dave explored new and very productive grounds as he took the Condor Express to the far western coast and just south of Gaviota.  This change of pace resulted in some wonderful sightings, including: …