Whales and dolphins and the Santa Cruz Channel

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Two gray whales travel together.

2022 01-21 SB Channel Skies were sunny and bright and seas were light but became more “moderate” as we worked along Santa Cruz Island and into the Santa Cruz Channel (between Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Island). Sightings were great nonetheless: 1500 long-beaked common dolphins, 20 Risso’s dolphins, 2 (possibly 3) Pacific gray whales, and 1 (possible) humpback whale. A … Read More

Sometimes the mating and courtship can’t wait for the Baja lagoons.

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Gray whale courtship action at nearby Santa Cruz Island.

2022 01-09 SB Channel Sunny and warm weather, with glassy smooth seas, made the marine mammal experience even more enjoyable today. Sightings included 3 Pacific gray whales, 52 Risso’s dolphins, 25 offshore bottlenose dolphins and 100 California sea lions. A spread-out mixed species group of Risso’s dolphins and offshore bottlenose dolphins was located just ¼ mile off the northern face … Read More

Four species of cetaceans and fantastic conditions.

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A Risso's dolphin in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2022 01-08 SB Channel Sunny and warm weather returned to the Channel on a day that was further enhanced by glassy smooth seas. Sightings included: 1025 long-beaked common dolphins, 12 Risso’s dolphins, 200 offshore bottlenose dolphins and 4 Pacific gray whales. Just 1 mile from the harbor entrance a very small pod of 25 common dolphins found the Condor Express … Read More

Novel Gray Whale Behavior

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Bottlenose dolphin and a gray whale in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2022 01-07 SB Channel “A quality whale near the boat is worth a dozen spouts in the distance.” You can quote me on that. Conditions were cooler today with low clouds and fog throughout the Channel. Seas had a little bit of bump from winds to the far west. Totals for the day included 4000 long-beaked common dolphins, 50 offshore … Read More

Offshore bottlenose dolphins, white-sided dolphins and lots more gray whales.

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Gray whales heading southbound in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2022 01-06 SB Channel During the southbound gray whale migration, most of the population moves along the Santa Barbara Channel Islands. Some take a turn between the islands and continue southbound down the back sides, others prefer more of a straight line along the front sides. On several occasions over the years I’ve seen gray whales turn and start moving … Read More

Spectacular migrating gray whales!

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Gray whales in the Santa Barbara Channel

2022 01-05 SB Channel Seas were nice and there was a little breeze, but only in the southern Channel, near Santa Cruz Island.  Skies were sunny all day. Sightings included 2000 long-beaked common dolphins and 12 Pacific gray whales. The crew removed 1 dangerous deflated, floating, Mylar, helium balloon from the surface. They could not retrieve a 6-foot boat fender … Read More

An exceptional killer whale encounter.

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A male killer whale in the Santa Barbara Channel from my 2015 files.

2021 12-22 Santa Cruz Island Captain Devin did it again! He reports glassy ocean conditions and a fantastic killer whale encounter that essentially took the whole trip. Totals for the day included a fleeting look at 20 high-speed Dall’s porpoise and 11 killer whales (Orcinus orca) near Prisoner’s Harbor. Please read on… Near the NOAA East Channel Buoy, a pod … Read More

Clear and calm, the Channel doth yield.

Bob Perrywhale watching california

California sea lions are always a blast.

2021 12-19 SB Channel Captain Devin reports clear, sunny skies with no wind and calm seas. Sightings included: 1 humpback whale, 300 California sea lions, 2000 long-beaked common dolphins and 1000 short-beaked common dolphins. After a run across The Channel to The Lanes, we finally intercepted a small pod of about 20 long-beaked common dolphins and got some great interactions/looks. … Read More