Running ahead of the fog for humpback whales and dolphins

2016 12-09 SB Channel There were calm seas and the Condor Express mostly stayed just a few hundred yards or so ahead of the shifting, sea level fog banks.  Total sightings included 2 humpback whales and 200 long-beaked common dolphins. The humpbacks were located just south of The Lanes.  It was two large, adult whales with fairly short 6-minute down …

A knobby-headed humpback whale.

A fine day for knobby-heads

2016 11-30 SB Channel It was a fairly nice fall day in the Santa Barbara Channel and a fine day for knobby-heads (humpback whales). The following wildlife was sighted and closely watched: 6 humpback whales, 6 Dall’s porpoise, and 800 long-beaked common dolphins. Seas and winds were calm until the end of the trip when we turned homeward and both …

Rainbow. (Photo by Capt Erick Nickisch)

Rainbow and big whales

2016 11-26 SB Channel The first rain episode ended within minutes of our departure from Santa Barbara Harbor. The second rain episode was close to shore on the way home and resulted in a wonderful rainbow.  In addition to rainbows, 1 giant blue whale and 3 humpback whales were observed closely today. The blue whale was encountered south of The …

Orcas !

2016 11-25 SB Channel It was a bumpy ride during the first half of the Santa Barbara Channel crossing, calming quite a bit in The Lanes. Here the choppy surface and big swells became a smooth surface with a long period (but still large) ground swell.  It was sunny thereafter.  The surprise and treat for the day was a group …

Dolphins ride the crest of a huge open ocean ground swell as another wave lines up behind.

Storm clouds, dolphins, whales and sea lions.

Rain was in the forecast but never put a damper on our excellent excursion today. It did start pouring about a half-hour after we returned to the SEA Landing in Santa Barbara Harbor.  The sky was filled with dramatic storm clouds as the approaching storm seemed to pause over Santa Rosa Island and, to a lesser extent, over Santa Cruz Island.  All …

common dolphins (from my Condor Express archives)

Mugged by humpback whales

There were blue skies and great marine mammal interactions today. Captain Eric and his team located 500 long-beaked common dolphins, 2 humpback whales and 500 short-beaked common dolphins.  By the way, we were mugged by humpback whales as you will read below: About 6 miles out of Santa Barbara the Condor Express attracted the attention of long-beaked common dolphins. They …