2017 06-30 SB Channel
10 humpback whales, 8 blue whales, 200 long-beaked common dolphins, and 1 ocean sunfish made for a rich and enjoyable wildlife tour in the Santa Barbara Channel today. Captain Eric and his crew covered a lot of water under a gray stratus layer and with fairly calm seas.
It was on the 50-fathom line near UCSB that the first whales and dolphins were encountered. The dolphins were moving west at about 5 knots, and the humpback whales followed. The Condor Express fell into the line and great looks were had by all.
The next sightings took place a few miles north of West Point, Santa Cruz Island where a large collection of giant blue whales were feeding subsurface. Their down times were only 6 or 7 minutes, and surface intervals were long…which made for great sightings. Several of their surface intervals took place at the same time, and at one point 5 giants surfaced near the Condor (traveling in different directions) and the explosive blasts of air from their blow holes were very loud. A large Mola mola, or ocean sunfish was spotted as well.
On the return voyage to Santa Barbara harbor the same humpback whales were intercepted. Evidently they turned around and had moved east quite a few miles since the morning encounter. Several dozen dolphins were in the mix.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.