Blue whales, that friendly Minke, loads of dolphins too!

Bob Perrywhale watching californiaLeave a Comment

A friendly Minke whale in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2020 09-12 SB Channel East

The mixture of fog and wildfire smoke continued today but luckily it never dropped to sea level and obscured our search for cetaceans. A light to moderate breeze and some small chop were also present. Sightings included: 6 giant blue whales, 1 Minke whale, 1500 long-beaked common dolphins and 500 short-beaked common dolphins.

As has been our dolphin distribution pattern the past few days, we started encountering small groups of long-beaked common dolphins surface feeding with a sea bird entourage about 7 miles offshore. We’d see them all day thereafter with several larger groups watched further offshore.  North of The Lanes a large pod of highly animated short-beaked common dolphins located the Condor Express. They were acrobatic, aerial and boat-friendly. Lots of leaping straight up and tail-walking was observed.

During the morning first dolphin encounter we, once again, crossed paths with the same extremely friendly Minke whale that we first saw on August 30th. It circled the boat and ran alongside the port side, then the starboard. It is an equal opportunity Minke when it comes to being sure its fans on board get good looks at it.

In the northbound shipping land adjacent to the eastern end of Santa Cruz Island we found the land of the giants. Our first sighting was of a pair of blue whales, one of which fluked-up on every dive. About a mile east a trio of blue whales was also watched. As we slowly departed the area and started to head home, a 6th blue whale showed up.  Wow!

SPECIAL TRIP: Captain Dave has announced our second 8-hour whale watch of the late summer. Whales of many species, several kinds of dolphins, sharks Mola mola, pelagic birds, gelatinous animals…who knows what Mother Nature has in store? Mark your calendar for Saturday September 26. The trip departs promptly at 8am and returns sometime after 4pm. Sign up at: www.condorexpress.com   Hope to see you on board.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry
Condor Express, and
CondorExpressPhotos.com

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