2015 09-18 SB Channel
Our first cetaceans consisted of about 100 long-beaked common dolphins that we watched in that crystal clear Santa Barbara cobalt water with a glassy smooth surface. Another warm spell is coming and today it had not taken its full effect so the weather was absolutely perfect. While we were enjoying the dolphins a large California flying fish took off from in front of the Condor Express and landed about 100 yards away. The end of this first sighting episode was a fairly large detached giant kelp paddy floating freely in the middle of the Santa Barbara Channel with a thousand or so Pacific sardines hiding in the shade beneath the fronds.
Our next stop was in a region with another 200 or so dolphins and a fairly large fin whale. We had great looks at this whale, again enhanced by the glassy surface and crystal clear waters.
Around noon we were on the southern edge of The Lanes where a medium-sized bull California sea lion had been feeding. He swam slowly along the port side of the Condor keeping a watchful eye on the situation. About this time we also spotted our first two giant blue whales, one larger than the other. The small one fluked-up a couple of times, and both whales were extremely friendly and we were able to see the entire bodies of these beasts in the cobalt seawater. A second fin whale also appeared.
After an hour or so with the blues and fins described above we took a short trip a mile or two west and found another two blues. Wow! What a fantastic day for blue Whales, fin whales and dolphins.
On the way home we had to stop abruptly as a single, west-bound humpback whale put in an appearance.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.