Very calm seas & fog. A humpback and lots of dolphins.

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Here is our path to and from Santa Cruz Island today. courtesy of: marinetraffic.com

2021 09-21 SB Channel Seas were very calm but…it was a doosie of foggy day in the Channel. Captain Dave and his crew and his radar transected the midriff of the Santa Barbara Channel. The visibility ranged from a maximum ¾ mile near The Buoy, and a few random sunny (“sucker hole”) patches at Santa Cruz Island, to absolutely zero … Read More

Ambassador humpback mugs Condor Express and 2 other boats! Dolphins galore.

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"We got mugged!" A friendly humpback whale ambassador spends considerable time with its fans on the Condor Express in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 09-19 SB Channel Sunny. No wind. Great sightings. It was another epic encounter with wildlife in the Santa Barbara Channel with 4 humpback whales, 5000 long-beaked common dolphins and 200 offshore bottlenose dolphins. Whooee! The adrenaline got flowing early as our first encounter, just 4 miles offshore from UCSB, included a large group of offshore bottlenose dolphins and 1 … Read More

Killer whales.

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Here's an iPhone photo of CA138A, the male killer whale in today's encounter in the Santa Barbara Channel. Photo by Captain Dave Beezer

2021 09-18 SB Channel Calm seas prevailed throughout the excursion today. The morning stratus broke to sunny skies about 1 hour outside the harbor. Sightings today were not only good, they were special: 5 humpback whales, 2000 long-beaked common dolphins, 5 killer whales and zero live sea lions. Dolphins were spread out in small pods all day, even in the … Read More

Huge influx of humpbacks and more…

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A high-flying, extremely acrobatic short-beaked common dolphin in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 09-17 SB Channel The early gray stratus clouds burned off to yield clear, blue skies for the remainder of the trip. Seas were calm and winds were light and variable. Captain Dave and the crew traversed the Channel to closely watch: 16+ humpback whales, 2500 long-beaked common dolphins, 500 short-beaked common dolphins and 75 California sea lions. The majority … Read More

An active hotspot produces huge numbers of marine mammals!

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A hot spot in the Santa Barbara Channel. See how many species y ou can identify!

2021 09-16 SB Channel Seas were calm and flat. No wind was felt all day. Skies had a high, gray, stratus layer. Sightings were phenomenal, and included: 17 humpback whales, 5000 long-beaked common dolphins and 500 California sea lions. The dolphins that first located us 10 miles offshore were in a large megapod that was feeding subsurface. Soon we identified … Read More

Loads of fun with 11+ humpback whales and more.

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A look inside the Painted Cave. Photo by Captain Dave.

2021 09-14 SB Channel Seas were calm, a little bit of high stratus kept the sir temperature moderate.  We had a total of 11 humpback whales, 3000 long-beaked common dolphins, and 200 California sea lions.  Captain Dave and the crew ran southwest, out towards the NOAA East Channel Buoy area and located a group of 6 humpback whales among lots … Read More

Big friendly Mola mola, humpbacks, dolphins, sea lions!

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A large and friendly ocean sunfish (Mola mola) in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 09-13 SB Channel Sea conditions improved and were mostly calm and glassy today due to the persistent stratus layer that, in patches, reduced lateral visibility considerably. Luckily Captain Colton and his crew have special fog-cutting eyeballs and, despite the visibility, put together some great sightings. Closely watched species included 3 humpback whales, 2000 long-beaked common dolphins, 100 California sea … Read More

More humpbacks and dolphins with a fresh breeze and sunny skies.

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Sometimes when the sun is at the right angle, and the wind is blowing the humpback spout, a rainbow forms. Location: Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 09-12 SB Channel The NOAA East Channel Buoy (Station 46053) was the epicenter of the majority of our humpback whales (6+ closely watched) and common dolphins (4000 watched) today. Sea birds and sea lions were also in the mix. Seas had were choppy and it was breezy, which kept the sun shining and the air fresh. Our initial 4 … Read More

Copious wind, waves, whales, and dolphins. It was a nautical experience.

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A common dolphin stampede in the Santa Barbara Channel. Somebody should set up a long term study.

2021 09-11 SB Channel The glassy days of the past week came to an end as a moderate breeze worked down the Channel and kicked up a little bit of chop and spray. This wind made things sunny, except, ironically, at Santa Cruz Island which was fogged-in solid. Sightings around the NOAA East Channel Buoy continue to be amazing and … Read More

So much cetacean life today including throngs of humpbacks & some great high-flying dolphins!

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A tail-walking short-beaked species of common dolphin in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 09-10 SB Channel Captain Colton and the crew of the Condor Express found another wonderfully calm day in the Channel. Overcast skies were hugging the coast, but once we ventured out a bit the skies were bright and blue. Sightings were phenomenal again: 15+ humpback whales, 4800 long-beaked common dolphins and 200 short-beaked common dolphins. Long-beaked common dolphins were … Read More