Thousands of dolphins and 2 friendly humpbacks seen among the large swells and fresh breeze

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A humpback whale "in its element." Fresh breeze, moderate swells, bright sun!

2022 06-26 SB Channel A nice sunny sky became enveloped in a marine layer that, at times, reduce visibility to ½ mile as we got offshore a little bit. Later, the skies became bright blue and sunny from the shipping lanes south towards Santa Cruz Island. The sea conditions changed quite a lot as we approached The Lanes. The southern … Read More

3 humpbacks at Santa Rosa, and a mega pod of dolphins mid-Channel

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A wonderful tail fluke color and scar pattern which will help us ID this individual we saw today.

2022 06-25 SB Channel It was overcast during most of the trip, but sunny spots appeared here and there at Santa Rosa Island. On the way home, the skies cleared about 5 miles out from Santa Barbara Harbor. Today we closely watched 3 humpback whales, 12 California sea lions and at least 2000 long-beaked common dolphins. Our first dolphins were … Read More

Giant mother blue whale and her calf; humpbacks, dolphins too.

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A giant mother blue whale with her calf in the Santa Barbara Channel today. Woooeee!

2022 06-24 SB Channel The hazy sun along the coast became a moderate overcast marine layer as we pushed offshore towards beautiful Santa Rosa Island. This gray layer got a bit thinner after noon, but never went away until we came back and were just a few miles outside Santa Barbara Harbor. Sightings were very good today. We closely watched: … Read More

Giant blue whales, humpback and dolphins: NICE!

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A giant blue whale made a close approach to the Condor Express today!

2022 06-23 SB Channel The Channel weather this week calls for dense fog in the morning burning off to sunny skies after 12 noon. Seas had a light chop today and the breeze picked up as we approached Santa Rosa Island. Sightings were phenomenal: 4000 long-beaked common dolphins, 1 humpback whale, 3+ giant blue whales, and 1 ocean sunfish (Mola … Read More

THE BLUES ARE HERE! Happy Solstice.

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The majestic spout of a giant blue whale in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2022 06-21 SB Channel THE BLUES ARE BACK IN TOWN! HAPPY SUMMER SOLSTICE! Hazy warm sun kept us moderately warm out in the Santa Barbara Channel, and the stronger breezes were confined area near the Santa Cruz Channel. It was an otherwise glorious and very productive day. Closely-watched species included: 6 giant blue whales, 1 humpback whale, 1000 long-beaked common … Read More

Two nice hot spots on a windy day with a single humpback visiting both

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A humpback whale is seen in the middle of a Santa Barbara Channel hot spot.

2022 06-17 SB Channel Skies started out overcast but, as the wind filled-in, they cleared. Meanwhile, the ocean surface became populated with whitecaps and precluded travels to the islands and southern regions of the Channel. Sightings included: 1 humpback whale, 1000 long-beaked common dolphins, 60 California sea lions and a bunch of ocean sunfish (Mola mola) that were difficult to … Read More

FIVE different cetacean species and more Mola mola

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A Risso's dolphin in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2022 06-11 Santa Cruz Channel Skies were overcast all day but the sea was calm and glassy. Very clear water enhanced our sightings of 5 different species of cetaceans and 1 pelagic fish. These included:  30+ ocean sunfish (Mola mola), 1 humpback whale, 1 Minke whale, 75 offshore bottlenose dolphins, 10 Risso’s dolphins and 500 long-beaked common dolphins. It was … Read More

Summer gray whales, Risso’s, commons and more Mola mola

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Today's tracks courtesy of MarineTraffic.com

2022 06-10 Santa Rosa Island Skies were overcast except for sunny Becher’s Bay, Santa Rosa Island (see map). Seas were flat and calm. Sightings included 3 Pacific gray whales, 25 Risso’s dolphins, 500 long-beaked common dolphins, and 50+ ocean sunfish (Mola mola). At beautiful Becher’s Bay, in shallow water 25 – 65 feet deep, we spent quality time with friendly, … Read More

Thousands of common dolphins, hundreds of bottlenose dolphins, Mola mola and Pacific gray whales.

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It's not "gray whale season" but now we have long-term resident whales at Santa Rosa Island.

2022 06-09 Santa Rosa Island There was another May-June high marine layer all over the northern Channel, along with some moderately choppy seas. This all changed when we crossed The Lanes and went up into the Santa Cruz Channel and Becher’s Bay, Santa Rosa Island. Sightings for the trip included: 5000 long-beaked common dolphins, 200 offshore bottlenose dolphins, 3 Pacific … Read More

Gray whales, dolphins, and a record number of Mola mola

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A surface mud plume from bottom-feeding gray whales.

2022 06-08 Santa Rosa Island It was a tale of two “Channels,” weatherwise today. High overcast skies and slightly seas were experienced for the first 14 miles outbound from Santa Barbara Harbor. Then, as we made the turn and pulled into beautiful Becher’s Bay, Santa Rosa Island, the ocean surface became perfectly flat, but a northwest wind howled down from … Read More