Common dolphins get ahead of a humpback whale. Sometimes they even ride the bow wave of a whale.

Dolphins and humpbacks

2017 09-12 SB Channel

Seas were calm.  Skies started out overcast but got sunny later in the morning.  Conditions were fine for locating and watching wildlife.  Today the Condor Express closely watched: 5 humpback whales and 1,500 long-beaked common dolphins.

Captain Dave and his crew headed towards one of the spots that has been very productive off and on this summer near the NOAA mid-Channel buoy (aka, east Channel Buoy).  In this zone 2 humpback whales and hundreds of dolphins were located. [See attached photo from Sunday’s observation of humpbacks and dolphins interacting].

Next stop was further south, in The Lanes where an additional 2 humpback whales and hundreds more dolphins were watched.  There was an amazing number of dolphins around all day.

Dave took the boat along the northwestern sea cliffs of Santa Cruz Island and put the bow inside the first chamber of the world-famous Painted Cave.  His discourse on the geology, natural history, indigenous peoples and recent conservation efforts is always a crowd-pleaser.

Dave steered a westerly course from the Cave and then arched around and back on a track to return to Santa Barbara Harbor.  More dolphins found the boat, and an additional single whale too.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry
Condor Express

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