Humpback Whales, Minke Whales and lots of Common Dolphins pervaded the northeastern Santa Barbara Channel today. Captain Mat ran east, as has been our custom these past weeks, to find calm seas, sunny skies and abundant cetaceans. Our trip today took us out to the “rig line,” that line up of 7 offshore oil platforms you see offshore between Carpenteria and Summerland. Upon arriving on the scene we found our first pod of common dolphins and while dolphin watching we saw a few Minke Whales. Two of the Minke’s gave us consistent, good looks.
We then headed offshore a little ways to an area where humpback whales had been reported. Here we found our “resident” mother and calf pair that has entertained us for several weeks and breached a lot on a few occasions including yesterday. No breaching today fro this pair, but we did get great looks with sunny conditions and very blue, clear water. As we followed the two, they led us past platform Hillhouse, then northwards back towards Santa Barbara Harbor.
We ended the day with a very large nursery pod of common dolphins. Practically every mother dolphin had a little calf swimming alongside. The few dolphins without calves were being actively pursued by males, so more calves may be forthcoming soon. Keep your eyes open. We ended with at least 1,000 total long beaked common dolphins for the trip.
One more thing. A very nice sized Mola mola, also known as an ocean sunfish, swam alongside and after swimming upside down with its belly up, it flipped over to a normal orientation and even showed us its big eyes and open mouth clearly.
I’ll post up the photos sometime tomorrow. http://www.CondorExpressPhotos.com