It was an afternoon trip, running from 1pm to 530pm. “Blue skies, blue water and blue whales”! Don’t let this fool you because just as the trip started and we were only a mile of less off the beach, we had a magical encounter with a humpback whale that came over and did tricks. It rolled on its back and exposed its belly with the long ventral grooves, right next to the boat. And then it was off again as quickly as it started.
Out near Santa Cruz Island the sharp eyes of deckhand Eric spotted the first very tall, thin spout. That’s what we all saw, but Eric had the binoculars and quickly confirmed that it was indeed a giant blue whale. As we got closer, it was two blue whales, then three. The final count was 5 blue whales watched closely and perhaps another 5 whales all around in binocular range.
In the morning we ran a charter for the UCSB scientists who mentor young junior high students and do an oceanography cruise on the Condor Express. This included a trip around Platform Holly and a look at one of the gas bubble holes.
It will probably take me until Wednesday to post the photos.