A highly energetic Risso's dolphin juvenile. (From an earlier Condor Express adventure)

Two kinds of whales and two kinds of dolphins were seen today.

2017 07-11 SB Channel

1 blue whale, 10 humpback whales, 25 Risso’s dolphins and 500 long-beaked common dolphins were closely watched today.  Captain Dave and his crew worked both sides of the Santa Barbara Channel as the Condor Express found lightly overcast skies and relatively calm seas. Two kinds of whales and two kinds of dolphins were seen today.

Not far outside Santa Barbara Harbor a few hundred common dolphins were feeding along with 4 humpback whales.  Per usual, the dolphins seemed to locate the northern anchovy bait schools, get the fish in a tight ball, and then the humpbacks came in and ate the whole school in one or two gulp. All of this action was happening below the surface.  My description is a best-fit hypothesis.

Dave followed some of the common dolphin hot spots to the west and soon found another area of whales and dolphins south of UCSB.  The food chain described above replayed itself.  Dave pushed south.

Beyond The Lanes and near the eastern end of Santa Rosa Island a pod of Risso’s dolphins was spotted and observed.  These large, mysterious dolphins are always a real treat to see.  A single giant blue whale was also in the vicinity.  Further west along the Santa Rosa Island coast a final humpback whale was watched.

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

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