2017 09-03 SB Channel
It was sunny and warm in the Santa Barbara Channel. There were some clouds to the north, above the Santa Ynez range. The day included close looks at 6 humpback whales and 2,000 long-beaked common dolphins.
Captain Eric and his crew ran to the southwest and had dolphins coming to the Condor Express all day long. Groups of all sizes played alongside and rode our waves. Eric did his best in giving out his population totals for this report…there were a LOT of dolphins today.
The region around the NOAA buoy has been productive at times this season and today we found our first 3 whales (and lots of dolphins) in this area. All the wildlife was moving slowly to the east.
Eric next located a single, breaching humpback (and lots of dolphins) in The Lanes. One breach was nearly 100% and was close enough to feel the thud as the whale landed back in the water.
Our next stop was a tour along the sea cliffs and northwestern edge of Santa Cruz Island. This tour included a nice trip inside the antechamber of the beautiful and world-famous Painted Cave.
Leaving the Cave and on the way home, near The Lanes, two more whales were closely watched. One of these whales also did a bit of breaching. (There were lots of dolphins here as well). It was a great day for cetacean watching.
Back at the SEA Landing, after most of our passengers had disembarked and were on their way home, a storm microcell with lots of water, hail and wind moved through the area including Santa Barbara Harbor. No one was hurt, but lots of sand, towels, kayaks and other small, light objects were flying around near the water. The event was over as fast as it started, and was one a strange side-effect of a tropical storm off Baja California Sur.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.