Bob Perryblue whales, common dolphins, Condor Express, humpback whales, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Channel, Santa Cruz Island

Giant blue whale tail flukes. This whale dove "sideways," thus the flukes are at an unusual angle in this photograph.

2017 07-02 SB Channel

Calm seas reigned across the zone and the sunshine popped out of the morning stratus layer for a fantastic day of wildlife sightings in the Santa Barbara Channel.  Captain Eric and his crew reported the following:  10 humpback whales, 7 blue whales, 750 long-beaked common dolphins and 1 Mola mola (ocean sunfish).

South of Santa Barbara harbor, on the 50-fathom line, a mixture of dolphins and humpback whales was found.  The two species were scattered across a mile or two of water and were traveling east.  The dolphins moved from one small patch of anchovies to the next, and the humpback whales followed closely behind.

Two miles south of the initial sightings, additional dolphins and humpbacks were soon located and watched.  One whale did a bit of tail-slapping.  Captain Eric continued south towards Santa Cruz Island to see if other species of cetaceans were around.

South of The Lanes and north of Chinese Harbor, the giant blue whales were feeding beneath the surface individually.  One or two giants would surface, breathe, then dive.  This was followed by another and so forth.  A large Mola mola was also seen basking on the surface here.

On the way home the Condor Express re-located the same  humpback whales we had watched earlier in the trip, and dolphins were scattered around the area too.

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