2017 04-14 SB Coast
The Condor Express ran two trips today, one at 9 am and the other 12 noon. Totals for the day included: 8 gray whales, 2 humpback whales and 2,400 long-beaked common dolphins. The day started out calm and the winds finally kicked up as we neared the harbor on our last trip. Good stuff!
One mile south of Santa Barbara harbor we round a herd of nearly 200 dolphins feeding amidst diving and lunging sea birds, California sea lions and a lot of terrified northern anchovies. Next stop was up to the west, past UCSB, at Sands Beach. Here we located 2 cow-calf pairs of gray whales (4 total) rolling around in the surf. The mom’s often follow their calves into shallow water where the kids go to play and learn to harness wave energy to enhance their travels. On the way home, an additional 200-strong pod of dolphins was found off More Mesa.
Right at the start, another mother-calf gray whale pair was located off the old lighthouse and followed carefully for a while. Continuing west to Campus Point, 2 juvenile (perhaps yearling) gray whales were observed. At this point the wind was just starting to freshen up and Captain Dave was on his way home. However, he soon found himself watching two large humpback whales that were friendly and showed tail flukes on every dive. Then, as if someone turned a switch, the Condor found itself surrounded by what turned out to be a mega-pod of at least 2,000 dolphins. Good stuff!
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.