2020 11-27 SB Channel
There are only 2 trips left in 2020 (more on this later).
Captain Dave and his crew had a phenomenal early morning trip that left the dock at 8am under clear blue skies and bright sunshine. A bit of fall Santa Ana winds to the east (Oxnard, Malibu) created an unusual short interval swell from the east during the first part of this excursion. The views of the islands and mountains framed a phenomenal day for whale watching. We closely watched 12+ giant blue whales, 2 fin whales, 1 humpback whale and 1500 long-beaked common dolphins.
A single, large adult humpback whale made its appearance south of the NOAA buoy. It had long down times during which it moved nearly a mile and was difficult to track. No worries because soon additional tall spouts were seen to the south.
A pair of large fin whales was watched during which time a megapod of dolphins cruised through the zone. Dave moved with the dolphins as they moved to a hot spot rich with blue whales. It was “the land of the giants” again! Blues were all around. Some were in pairs, others were solo. Dave reports that all of them were large, adult giants, and many more spouts were nearby.
One instance of distant blue whale racing behavior was noted, but perhaps not seen by all.
On the way home a second large aggregation of dolphins punctuated the adventure.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and
Saturday and Sunday will be our final public whale watching excursions for 2020. The Condor Express will be hauling-out of the water for routine maintenance AND the replacement of all 4 of its mighty engines. The old engines were the original power source for the Condor when it was launched in 2002 and have been subsequently overhauled to meet the improving air quality and emissions standards in the state of California. This engine replacement will not only put new power into the boat, but will move us decades ahead of the curve for air quality and fuel efficiency. The engine retro-fit process will also involve small hull modifications and numerous US Coast Guard inspections.
We are hoping to get back to whale watching in early February.