9 humpback whales, some very active, lots of dolphins and a pigeon.

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Mother humpback whale and her calf in the Santa Barbara Channel

2020 10-18 SB Channel A glassy morning picked up a light breeze as the day progressed. Seas were calm and skies were partly sunny. Sightings were phenomenal once again with 9 humpback whales, 300 long-beaked common dolphins and 1 pigeon closely watched. As the numbers above would suggest, dolphins were abundant throughout the excursion starting out to the southeast near … Read More

Among 10 humpbacks we saw one “aerial ambassador”

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A breaching humpback whale, aka an "aerial ambassador" (I just thought that one up just now) --Bob

2020 10-17 SB Channel All the action was in the middle of the Channel, north of The Lanes and around the Santa Cruz Island midriff. Seas were moderately calm and skies had a hazy warm sun, in the north Channel. Once we transited The Lanes and moved a bit south we hit a breeze that sent up some spray. Needless … Read More

Nine humpbacks, 3500 dolphins and a Minke whale, too.

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Humpback whale tail throw in the Santa Barbara Channel. whooeee!

2020 10-16 SB Channel The weather pattern this week has set up wonderful, calm and glassy sea conditions which are ideal for closely watching cetaceans. No wind, no swell…bright sun…a blast of late summer warmth wafted through the Channel. Sightings included 9+ humpback whales, 1 Minke whale and 3500 long-beaked common dolphins. Dolphins were abundant and feeding everywhere we went … Read More

21 humpback whales; 4000 dolphins

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A humpback whale in a hotspot surrounded by hungry seabirds, stops to enjoy a bit of fun with a drifting kelp paddy.

2020 10-15 SB Channel Humpback whale mega-sightings day As yesterday, there was no wind and flat, calm seas in the Channel. The water was crystal clear which greatly enhanced the closely watched 21+ humpback whales and 4000 long-beaked common dolphins. Five deadly Mylar balloons were also retrieved from the ocean. It was a day with non-stop dolphin pods. Dolphins first … Read More

Summer-like hot and glassy conditions yields 5 humpback whales, 3000 dolphins.

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A large humpback whale spouts on a hot, sunny day with exceptionally glassy seas in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2020 10-14 Santa Cruz Island – West Seas were mirror glassy flat all day which reflected the bright blue sky and hot sun. Although there was not a trace of wind all day, a small swell from winds blowing to the northwest rolled through the land of the giants. The water clarity was spectacular and had that famous “Santa Barbara … Read More

Lots of humpbacks and literally countless dolphins

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Location of today's hotspot action courtesy of MarineTraffic.com. Santa Rosa Island is bottom left and Santa Cruz Island is bottom right.

2020 10-11 Near Santa Cruz Channel There was a massive humpback whale hot spot south of The Lanes and adjacent to Santa Cruz Channel today. Seas were glassy all day, but a medium-sized swell was rolling along near the islands. Sightings included the following closely watched cetaceans: 2000+ short-beaked common dolphins, 2000+ long-beaked common dolphins and 5+ humpback whales. About … Read More

Spectacular weather and sea conditions yield 5 giant blue whales at Santa Cruz Island

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The blue whale fan club hit the jackpot today.

2020 10-10 Santa Cruz Island There were two climate zones in the Santa Barbara Channel, one near the city and the other near the island. While Santa Barbara and the harbor were quite cool under overcast semi-foggy conditions, the islands had warm weather, blue skies with bright puffy clouds. Seas at Santa Cruz Island were calm, and as Captain Dave … Read More

Santa Cruz Island blue whales have distinct dive patterns.

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We saw a lot of these "blue streak" reflections from the first of our two giant blue whales today. Shallow swimming permits the bright sun to reflect of the body of the whale.

2020 10-09 Santa Cruz Island – West High, thin stratus gave way to blue skies above the land of the giants along the western end of Santa Cruz Island. Weather was cooler today and a light breeze punctuated an autumnal feel. Sighting today included: 2 giant blue whales and 1000 long-beaked common dolphins. Captain Dave reported the first large herd … Read More

“Flue” (fin+blue) the hybrid joins the blue whales, humpbacks and loads of dolphins on today’s list.

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The big wings of this humpback whale are clearly seen in the clear blue water of the Santa Barbara Channel.

2020 10-08 West Santa Cruz Island Mild weather and decent sea conditions made for a wonderful day of cetacean watching off the northwestern coast of Santa Cruz Island. Totals for the trip: 4 humpback whales, 2 giant blue whales, 1 hybrid fin/blue whale and 500 long-beaked common dolphins. On the way across the Santa Barbara Channel towards the middle of … Read More

Blue whale and thousands of dolphins

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Blue whale in the Channel! What a season it has been.

2020 10-07 SB Channel Sea conditions were just fine and a high stratus layer meant little to no wind interrupted our search for wildlife. Captain Dave started out aiming for the west end of Santa Cruz Island and then ran east parallel to its north face. Totals included: 1+ giant blue whale, 2500 long-beaked common dolphins and 2 deadly Mylar … Read More