2017 08-07 SB Channel
Eric and his crew racked-up a whopping 9 humpback whales and over 1,000 long-beaked common dolphins while touring the north Santa Barbara Channel today. As we found yesterday, the southern Channel is blown-out and rough, so why go? It was sunny and there were calm seas on “our side” all day.
Dolphins began coming to the Condor Express and riding our waves when we were 5 or 6 miles out. Again, we had dolphin groups all day and they ranged in size from 15 to over 150 individuals per group. A mile or so further south resulted in the dolphins, birds, and sea lions all feeding and getting the northern anchovies all balled-up so the 4 whales we saw with them could simply wipe out each ball with a single gulp.
Eric ran a bit to the east following dolphins (like the humpback do) and soon three more whales came in. Humpback behaviors were on display at this spot with side-ways surface lunge feeding, tail throws and even some nice spy hops. Eric and the crew believe the tail throws were provoked by the ever-present California sea lions that were pestering the whales non-stop.
A bit further south, before the wind line, three more whales were observed. One was a whale we’d seen earlier…of course, more dolphins were around here too.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.