10 + 800 + 200 = spectacular whale watching today
The Condor Express motored across the Santa Barbara Channel in thick fog. Things were looking bad, but lo and behold, within a mile or so of our destination (Santa Cruz Island), the skies cleared and it was sunny and nice. The first sighting was of a very large, spread out pod of at least 200 Risso’s dolphins. Amazing sightings wit so many of these big gray beasts at one time. After a stop inside the world famous Painted Cave, we headed west. Off the west end of Santa Cruz there was a giant feeding frenzy going on. Captain Dave thinks it was squid in the water that attracted all the sea lions, sea birds and around 800 or so long beaked common dolphins. Another amazing spectacle on the wild ocean. Finally the Condor Express moved up inside “the gap,” aka the Santa Cruz Channel between Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands. Pretty quickly we encountered two gray whales that were heading around in random patterns with no clear indications of a migration going on. No military submarines were seen in the area, but these first two gray whales would certainly have evaded any direct detection. On we went and soon we were watching a much large and more active group of about 8 gray whales. There was plenty of “socializing” or “pre-breeding” activity to see. Many of the whales rolled around and seemed to frolic in the sun, although no other “visual evidence” of actual mating was observed.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store!
Hope to see you soon.