2018 02-03 SB Channel – Sunny. Clear skies. Clear water. No wind. No swell. It was an ideal day for finding cetaceans in the Santa Barbara Channel today. Sightings for the trip included: 1,000 long-beaked common dolphins, 2 fin whales and 6 gray whales.
The first pod of 500 or so dolphins located the Condor Express just outside the harbor. The usual interaction between dolphin and human took place and included dolphins surfing the bow, side and stern wake. The sightings today were greatly enhanced by the ocean conditions which created great opportunities for watching cetacean behaviors under the water as well as on the surface.
Near the mid-Channel region 2 fin whales were located about a mile apart from each other. These huge beasts were relatively shy today, but good looks were had by all nonetheless.
Captain Dave and his crew were able to put the Condor Express into the first chamber of the world-famous Painted Cave at Santa Cruz Island. This was followed by a nice tour of the sea cliffs and an well-researched interpretation of the pre-history, geology, ecology and current island rehabilitation success stories.
From The Cave, Captain Dave headed west and into the Santa Cruz Channel where a nice pod of 6 southbound migrating gray whales were seen. As before, the conditions enhanced the sighting…it was spectacular.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.