The sea surface was calm and winds were light. Skies were gray in the morning and sunny in the afternoon. Sightings for the day included at least 1,800 long-beaked common dolphins and 1 blue whale. Here are the details.
After leaving the harbor seal on the bait receiver and sea lions on the entrance buoys behind, Captain Dave steered a course for the west end of beautiful Santa Cruz Island. South of The Lanes a super pod of around 1,000 dolphins found the Condor Express. We watched this large aggregation for a while and witnessed quite a few “high flyers” (dolphins leaping very high out of the water, as well as a few calves with their mothers.
Our next stop included a narrated tour of the west end of the Island and a look inside the mouth of the longest sea cave in the world, the Painted Cave. When we pulled away from The Cave and headed out into the Santa Barbara Channel it was not long before “ojos de águila” Auggie spotted a blue whale. It was a small whale but had very short down times (5 minutes) and long surface times. This sighting took place as the sun broke through the stratus layer and caused the whale to glow bright blue under the surface.
We were more than half way home when the second super pod of dolphins found the boat. Again great sightings were had by all. On a personal note, after this sighting my wife and I got hungry and ate one of galley-person Jill’s famous Condor Burgers. Delicious!
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.