Dorsal fin of a giant basking shark in the Santa Barbara Channel.

8+ humpbacks, a Minke and a wonderfully huge basking shark!

2019 04-15 SB Channel

Forget about tax day and enjoy the natural wonders of the Santa Barbara Channel!  And that’s exactly what a lot of people did today.  The weather and sea conditions did not disappoint, neither did the wildlife.  Two trips left the docks, on at 9a the other at 12n, and closely-watched sightings included 8+ humpback whales, 1+ Minke whale and 1 large basking shark.

The morning trip found very calm seas, no wind and a thin stratus layer.  On our way to The Flats (14 miles southeast of the harbor), several Minke whales were seen and one was closely watched for a few surface intervals.  Further along the route a single, huge basking shark’s dorsal fin was spotted.  We came alongside and saw this magnificent plankton-feeding moving in a slow and deliberate manner, just below the surface with its giant mouth open wide.  It made several close and friendly approaches to the Condor Express.  Soon afterwards, we came into the humpback zone where lots of tall spouts were seen all around.  We closely watched a pair and then a single whale.  Looks were great.

At noon we returned to the humpback zone with two minor differences from the morning.  First, the sun was now out and warming us, and among the many humpback whales we closely watched 5.  One of the five was our old pal “Scarlet.”  Sightings on this trip were fantastic.

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

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