2017 11-25 SB Channel
Once again fearless Captain Eric and his renowned crew took the Condor Express near the western end of Santa Cruz Island and six different marine mammal species were observed today. Sea conditions were very calm and the following were closely watched: 2+ blue whales, 4 humpback whales, 20 Risso’s dolphins, 650 long-beaked common dolphins, 10 inshore bottlenose dolphins and dozens of California sea lions.
Out in The Lanes, several miles north of the Painted Cave area of Santa Cruz Island, 4 giant blue whales were seen and 2 of them were closely watched. As we found earlier this week, the whales spent only 4 or 5 minutes per dive and most of the time they were up and watchable. In the same area we also located 3 humpback whales which were swimming at a very high speed (7 – 8 knots) and paused several times to roll around, socialize and do head stands.
Moving west, a nice-sized pod of long-beaked common dolphins located the Condor Express and had great looks at the humans in their fan club. An additional humpback was also located here. Later in the sighting period Risso’s dolphins passed through. It was definitely an active spot. California sea lions were present throughout the day.
On the way home and just outside the harbor 10 inshore bottlenose dolphins were watched as they cruised along the surf zone and shoreline.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.