2018 07-19 SB Channel – East
The ocean was very flat and calm today with lots of spots that were mill pond glassy. Captain Dave and his crew ran down to the eastern Santa Barbara Channel again and located 2 blue whales, 1 fin whale, 4 Minke whales, and 500 long-beaked common dolphins. Many of the whale and dolphin sightings were framed by beautiful Santa Cruz and Anacapa Islands in the back.
The trip outbound from Santa Barbara Harbor was greeted right away by the presence of loads of scattered, small northern anchovy bait balls. Although no activity was noticed in the morning, on the way home in the afternoon there were several Minke whales on patrol and certainly “interested” in the little hot spots.
Dolphins were very ubiquitous and in small groups that averaged 25 or so animals. Dolphins in mirror glass, clear water is a wonderful sight to behold. They were with us all day, coming and going and on the whale spot. Lots of little calves were mixed in theses pods.
Just before noon the first giant blue whale was located and it was very elusive. We had one look, and it was “gone.” There were three giant blue whales and a single fin whale in the area. We had fleeting looks at the first, the others were spouts in the distance.
About an hour later we located another giant blue, and this was a much more “typical” whale. It averaged 13 minutes down time but surface time was great, often 15 or more breaths before sounding again. We watched this whale a lot as we could see it clearly in the blue, transparent water with the sun shining on it. Often, the entire body from rostrum to tail flukes was visible just beneath the surface and alongside the Condor Express. Tremendous!
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and