Fin whales, commons and Risso’s

2019 01-06 SB Channel This is our last trip for a couple of weeks as it is time for our annual maintenance haul-out and Coast Guard inspection.  And the trip was definitely a doosie with 1000 long-beaked common dolphins, 25 Risso’s dolphins and 3 big fin whales, all watched closely.  Skies had patches of sun amidst a thin overcast layer, …

A Risso's dolphin rides the bow of the Condor Express.

Four Cetacean Species Today

2019 01-04 SB Channel It was a clear, calm and drop dead gorgeous day today in the Santa Barbara Channel. When we reached Santa Cruz Island it was bright green showing it’s winter and spring coloration. Sightings included 1500 long-beaked common dolphins, 30 Risso’s dolphins, 10 offshore bottlenose dolphins, and one gray whale…making four cetacean species today. Near The Lanes …

A coastal bottlenose dolphin emits a bubble stream from its blowhole as it visits the Condor Express today.

Spectacular last trip for 2018

2018 12-31 SB Channel It was a spectacular last trip for 2018, and sightings included 20 inshore bottlenose dolphins, 1 gray whale and 2 humpback whales.  Sea conditions were good.  The air was fresh and wintery. Around 1010am bottlenose dolphins were encountered on the outskirts of the East Beach anchorage and were spread out over a quarter mile or so.  …

Thousands of long-beaked common dolphins were found surrounding the humpback whales today.

Gorgeous winter whales and dolphins

2018 12-29 SB Channel Winter is here and the Santa Barbara Channel was spectacular today with clear blue skies and views of all 4 northern Channel Islands.  The wildlife was also very good:  25 inshore bottlenose dolphins, 2000 long-beaked common dolphins, and 3 humpback whales were closely watched.  A large, spread-out group of bottlenose dolphins found us as we rounded …

Humpbacks and dolphins abound.

2017 12-21 SB Channel In spite of NOAA weather painting a “doom and gloom” scenario, Captain Tasha and her crew found nice cetacean-watching conditions in the Santa Barbara Channel.  Observations for the day included 12 humpback whales (we closely watched 7) and 3000 long-beaked common dolphins. The first dolphin herd located the boat north of the mid-Channel NOAA buoy.  It …

Captain Tasha and Crew

2018 12-19 SB Channel Captain Tasha and the crew of the Condor Express headed west, up the coast then made a turn offshore around Campus Point. From this location the boat ran towards The Lanes, located lots of wildlife, and then headed home. Total sightings included 4 humpback whales, 1 Minke whale and 1500+ long-beaked common dolphins. Sea conditions were …

Humpback whale breaching in the Santa Barbara Channel. ©Robert Perry

Looks were fantastic as humpbacks, Dall’s Porpoise and Common Dolphins were watched.

2018 12-09 SB Channel Captain Tasha and her crew encountered flat seas, mostly sunny skies and great “4-island” visibility.  Sightings included 3+ humpback whales, 10 Dall’s porpoises and 750 long-beaked common dolphins.  The looks were fantastic. On the way southbound towards Santa Cruz Island a single whale was located.  It was a bit shy and moving slowly east.  A group …

Photographer captures friendly humpback whale. Photo © Captain Dave Beezer - Condor Express

A view of “all four corners” of the Channel yields fantastic sightings

2018 12-08 SB Channel Captain Dave and the crew of the Condor Express reported flat seas and gorgeous weather again today. It was so clear, said Dave, that you could see “all four corners” of the Santa Barbara Channel (San Miguel to Anacapa, and Bony Ridge to Point Conception).  Wow. Total sightings for the day today included 8+ humpback whales …