2020 06-19 SB Channel
Hooray! Today we resumed our normal summer excursion schedule with trips running daily from 10am to 230pm. Our run across the Santa Barbara Channel towards the western end of Santa Cruz Island, then eastward paralleling the shores of Santa Rosa Island, was very productive. Sightings for the day included: 5 giant blue whales, 1 large fin whale, 25 offshore bottlenose dolphins and 300 long-beaked common dolphins. Seas were calm and skies had a thin stratus layer.
The first pod of common dolphins located the Condor Express as we moved across The Lanes. The rest of these animals were observed a bit later, during our first giant blue whale encounter.
South of The Lanes, near the western end of beautiful Santa Cruz Island, the first of our five giant blues was located. It was a very steady and regular whale to watch with 10 minute down times and a straight course to the east. As we moved west towards Santa Rosa Island and our second blue whale sighting, we were interrupted by a small pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins. They were extremely boat-friendly and loads of fun to watch.
From Santa Rosa Island we headed north in the direction of Santa Barbara. Soon we happened upon the remaining three blue whales. We picked one and followed at a safe distance. Great looks were had by all. A bit later, on our homeward course heading, a solitary fin whale was watched. It was the same individual we saw earlier this week. It has a distinguishing propeller scar (healed).
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and