2017 04-19 SB Coast
Although the day started out with dense fog all the way down to the deck, it lifted by mid-morning and created ample visibility and calm seas for locating the following species today: 11 gray whales, 50 Pacific white-sided dolphins (Aka, lags) and 300 long-beaked common dolphins. Sightings were fantastic with lots of whales and dolphins. The two trips today were led by the always agile Captain Dave and his crew.
A large ensemble of very fortunate elementary school kids got to go out and experience the ocean and its wildlife today. As mentioned above, there was dense fog when they departed Santa Barbara harbor, so Dave headed east for a change. This course heading took the Condor Express into Ventura County where Dave turned offshore a few miles and rode back west along the oil rigs as the fog lifted. A group of about 50 lags came to the boat. We have not seen this species for a while so today’s sighting was extra special. On the way home, about 1 mile out of the harbor, two gray whale mothers with calves were located and watched.
A single small, probably juvenile, gray whale was located right at the start of the trip. Moments later another 4 gray whales (2 cow-calf pairs) were spotted and watched closely. Continuing, the boat turned offshore a little ways and picked up another mother and calf. Finally, off UCSB, a herd of at least 300 common dolphins came to the boat and played in our wake. Fantastic.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.