humpback whales
Humpback whales feeding. (from an earlier Condor Express trip)

Sightings included 3 species of dolphins and 1 kind of whale

2017 08-10 SB Channel

It was a bright and sunny day in the western Santa Barbara Channel.  Seas had a very small chop and there was a light breeze.  All systems were “go” for finding and observing wildlife.  Sightings included 3 species of dolphins and 1 kind of whale:  11* humpback whales, 2,000 long-beaked common dolphins, 75 Risso’s dolphins and 50 offshore bottlenose dolphins.

Captain Dave took the Condor Express well offshore and into the western Channel where several hot spots were fired-up.  The first common dolphins came to the boat 5 miles south of UCSB, after which Dave put the boat back on a southwesterly course heading.  Things in this zone got started right off the bat by a visit from a feeding juvenile humpback.

Southeast of Hondo and many miles west of Holly there was a long hot spot full of life in a line.  Common dolphins were here too, and the herd of Risso’s paid us a visit.   More than anything, this was the “Land of The Humpback Whales”.  The beasts were located relatively easily and soon we had closely watched 11, with *many more in the near distance all around.

Also along this hot spot line we had a visit by a nursery pod of common dolphins and a large pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins in which there were a lot of calves too.  Things are looking so-far-so-good for the next generation of cetaceans in the Santa Barbara Channel.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry
Condor Express

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