2 Minke whales (1 very friendly), 12 humpbacks and 2500 dolphins.

Bob Perrywhale watching california

A very close look at an unusually friendly Minke whale in the Santa Barbara Channel. © Robert Perry

2019 08-31 SB Channel

The sun came out after we ran southwest in the fog for a while.  There was a medium bump.  The day was absolutely phenomenal and packed with cetaceans:  2 Minke whales, 12 humpback whales and 2500 long-beaked common dolphins.

Captain Colton and the crew of the Condor Express found their first cetaceans 7 or 8 miles south of UCSB where a thousand or more dolphins were busy searching and diving for food.  The first humpback was here too.  It was a juvenile and it greeted the boat with a monster tail throw followed up quickly by a massive/full breach.

Colton aimed the boat further offshore and ended up further off Isla Vista and about 5 miles due west of the NOAA buoy.  Scattered dolphin pods, both large and small, were mixed in with a few humpbacks and a single Minke whale. We got great looks at all, including the Minke.

Further west we found a lot more humpbacks and dolphins…all intent on feeding sub-surface.  Not long after the boat started its journey back to Santa Barbara Harbor, a second Minke was watched.  It came extraordinarily close to the Condor Express.  Wow!

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