Calm seas and a nice array of different marine mammal species.

Bob Perrywhale watching california

Spray flies everywhere as this humpback throws its tail in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 07-11 SB Channel

Oh, boy. What a nice day. Sea conditions were calm and flat all day. The skies went from gray to blue then back to gray and ended up blue. Go figure! The flip-flop sky did not deter the wildlife and we closely watched: 2 Minke whales, 5 humpback whales, 2500 long-beaked common dolphins, 100 California sea lions and we also removed a dead Mylar balloon from the surface.

A pair of Minke whales were spotted a couple of miles out from the harbor entrance, which made us wonder if they were the same two that mugged us three days ago. No such behavior today, but then most of the wildlife we saw all day was busy feeding.

Five miles out the common dolphins showed up and, you guessed it, their feeding pods were around all day. Soon a single sub-surface feeding humpback whale was joined by a second. Dolphin, birds, sea lions, whales…all feeding on the same prey: schools of northern anchovies.

Dave moved the boat southwest to a rich area near the NOAA East Channel buoy. Here we saw loads of additional dolphins, birds, and sea lions and a single juvenile humpback caught our eye by throwing its tail. It settled into a more predictable feeding cycle for a while but then found a nice floating, detached paddy of giant kelp to play with. Nearby we observed another humpback.

The Condor Express took a circuitous route home and about 4 miles south of UCSB we had good looks at our 5th humpback. Further along there were more dolphins.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry
Condor Express, and
CondorExpressPhotos.com