A dozen blue whales and dolphins too

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

Juvenile blue whale named "Wave." iPhone photo ©Capt Tasha Sobol

2018 06-26 SB Channel

The Condor Express traversed the Santa Barbara Channel again today and located the giant whale hot spot off the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island.  Here we located and closely watched 12+ blue whales, 1 fin whale, and 600 long-beaked common dolphins.  There were many more spouts all around the zone.  Skies started off with a thin stratus layer but soon after noon things got bright and sunny.  Seas were calm.

Although several dozen dolphins located the boat about 8 miles out and played for a while, the real action was closer to the island.  The first sighting was of a pair of adult blue whales that were both avid tail flukers and, at times, stayed down only 4 minutes. (Alternatively, other dives were a bit longer.)  West of the middle of the island there was, once again, a tremendous aggregation of sub-surface feeding giant blue whales and a single fin whale too.

One of the many blues seen was a mother and her juvenile.  We believe we first saw this same juvenile blue whale last season and nicknamed it “Wave” because, according to the crew, its distinctive dorsal fin resembles a perfect surfing wave shape.  Similar to what we experienced last year, Wave would chase after the Condor Express at a high speed and then do such things as cut across our path in front of the bow.  Born to be wild?

The entire Channel was filled with pods of dolphins similar to what we experienced yesterday.  Groups of 50 – 200 were like “stepping stones” to and from the hot spot.

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