2021 09-08 SB Channel
Fog was thick and lateral visibility was impacted until noon. Seas were accordingly mirror glass calm. Sightings included 6 humpback whales, 2000 long-beaked common dolphins, 50 California sea lions, and 15 ocean sunfish (Mola mola).
A lone juvenile humpback whale located us just south of the Carpinteria oil rigs. It was quite friendly and lifted itself off into the atmosphere for one big breach. The whole episode was a bit mysterious with the fog and all. Dolphins were abundant in this area and scattered groups would be seen throughout the excursion. A mob of at least 50 California sea lions stayed close to the whale and served as a “buoy” or surface marker so when the little whale sounded we knew exactly where it was. It would be a lie to say we trained the sea lions.
Along the way, still in the fog, we passed by a school of at least 15 juvenile “dinner plate” sized ocean sunfish (Mola mola). It is doubtful that many whale fans saw them given the poor visibility at the time.
Further south, on the edge of the busy shipping lanes, we watched a single adult whale that showed good tail flukes and also did a limited bit of kelping. The fog was beginning to lift at this point.
A couple of miles east of the kelping adult we closely watched an additional 4 humpback whales, but there were probably a couple more in the vicinity. Two of the four turned out to be Scarlet and her calf-of-the-year. I’d like to say that it was her being an old friend of the Condor Express that caused her and the calf to mug us for over an hour…but this hypothesis has not been peer reviewed….yet.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and
MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
After having such wonderful sights further offshore (we were several miles south of San Miguel Island at one point) on our special 8-hour whale watch last month, Captain Dave is going to do it again! We’ll have plenty to time to explore every nook and cranny known to cetaceans and look for pelagic birds along the way.
Make your reservations now: Saturday, September 25 – 8am to 4pm
phone: 888-77WHALE or 805-882-0088
My report from the August trip is here:
I look forward to seeing you on board!