2017 04-13 SB Coast
Captain Dave and his crew got off the docks with two excursions today into the northern Santa Barbara Channel and total sightings were as follows: 4 gray whales, 2 bottlenose dolphins, 1 humpback whale and 100 long-beaked common dolphins. There were periods of light rain, but mostly it was not wet and the seas were calm during each trip. The surface lunge-feeding humpback was fantastic…read more below.
Right off the bat, near Leadbetter Beach, a pair of bottlenose dolphins came to the Condor Express, swam around, and greeted their human fans on board. There was a very slight drizzle at first, then things cleared nicely. Up to the west, near Goleta, two young gray whales were encountered and we had good looks.
A mother gray whale and her calf were found at Hendry’s Beach, just a few minutes after departing Santa Barbara harbor. The pair stopped frequently, did some rolling around, and looked to us as if it was a nursing station. Continuing west we ended up near Platform Holly. Here we encountered a nice-sized humpback whale swimming near some large anchovy schools. Soon the humpback opened its massive mouth and lunged upwards into the fish schools, and ended up high out of the water in a vertical position. A hundred or so common dolphins came into the fish schools and joined the feeding. The massive surface lunge-feeding humpback was fantastic to see.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.