Gray whale near Santa Cruz Island

Extraordinary fin whale sightings

2017 12-23 SB Channel

A light breeze across the water kept things on the cool side in the Santa Barbara Channel, even though the sun was shining all day.  Seas were calm.  Captain Eric and the crew recorded the following sightings:   long-beaked common dolphins = 450, gray whales=2, fin whales=6*.  Seeing so many fin whales has been extraordinary.

Out near The Lanes, en route to West Point, Santa Cruz Island, a nice pod of several hundred dolphins discovered the Condor Express and played around in our wake waves.  A bit closer to West Point our first batch of fin whales were watched.  These whales were very boat-friendly and everyone had spectacular looks at this huge mammal.

Closer still to the island our deckhand Tasha found 2 gray whales heading south to their mating and calving grounds in Baja California.  They were travelling about 4 miles north of the sea cliffs and represented our first gray whales sightings of the year (considering we did not run for 3 weeks back with the Thomas fire was active).

On the way home, near Platform Habitat, an additional group of fin whales were seen, *but we only had time to closely watch 2 of them.

Our next public whale watch will be next Wednesday, 12/27/17.  Hope to see you on board.

Bob Perry
Condor Express

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