2017 03-09 SB Coast
Yet another drop dead gorgeous day met the Condor Express and our neck of the Santa Barbara Channel. The sun was bright and warm. The sea surface was glassy and calm all day long. Two whale watching excursions left the docks, the first at noon and the second at 3pm. Wow a great abundance of cetaceans, including a total of nearly 500 long-beaked common dolphins and 15 gray whales were observed today.
Right off the bat we got into a herd of at least 200 dolphins as they broke the glassy surface about 2 miles outside the harbor. These animals found the Condor Express as we pulled into their zone, and had fun riding the wake. In shallower water as single, somewhat shy, gray whale was found heading north along the coast. This was quickly followed up by a brief encounter with another pod of about 75 dolphins. The really “big show” was another group of migratory gray whales, and about 4 of these beasts were seen rolling around and generally playing around right near the boat. The final sighting of this wonderful noon trip consisted of yet another group of 3 gray whales which were seen as we were returning to the harbor.
West of the harbor, near the Lighthouse, a pair of juvenile gray whales was found slowly moving north. After watching these beasts for a while, the crew found a herd of dolphins (about 200) a few miles south. Next, 2 more gray whales came by the dolphin zone on their way north. Finally, just outside the harbor on the way home, 3 more gray whales were observed.
Wow, what a great abundance of cetaceans we had today!
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.