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.