Risso’s dolphin in the Santa Barbara Channel

Risso’s, humpbacks, commons & a mob of sea lions

2019 12-26 SB Channel  Captain Colton and the crew found moderately rough seas in the Channel today but nonetheless scored some fantastic sightings. Species include 2 humpback whales, 3000+ long -beaked common dolphins, a few hundred California sea lions and 10 Risso’s dolphins.  Sightings began during our tour of the majestic seacliffs on the west end of Santa Cruz Island in the …

A humpback whale spouts into the breeze, similar to our sightings today.

Wild whales, weather and dolphins.

2019 12-13 SB Channel  There were some wild weather changes in the Channel today which I’ll tell you about later. Meanwhile the wildlife sightings were good and included 20 coastal bottlenose dolphins and 2 humpback whales. As we left the coast, and the cruise ship anchored there, behind us it was a nice calm sunny day.  Pretty quickly we encountered a large …

A humpback breached in the Channel, similar to our sighting today.

Four whales, 1000 dolphins

2019 12-08 SB Channel Captain Colton and his crew took a grand tour of the middle Channel area today that included Santa Cruz Island, Santa Rosa Island and areas near Coal Oil Point on the mainland. There was a moderate breeze and some long period rolling swells from the west. Sightings included 4 humpback whales and 1000 long-beaked common dolphins. …

A humpback tail in a fresh breeze...similar to conditions today.

Awesome looks: cetaceans in the breeze!

2019 11-29 SB Channel  Fresh air prevailed in the Santa Barbara Channel. Not only was it brisk and refreshing, but it did get a little bumpy as well. Captain Colton and his crew did their best to steer a course that provided the calmest possible seas as we searched for wildlife. Sightings today included three humpback whales and 500 long-beaked common …

A humpback whale with common dolphins, similar to our encounter today.

Two local species of common dolphins and a juvenile humpback whale.

2019 11-24 SB Channel All 4 islands were clearly visible as the Condor Express crossed the Channel with glassy calm seas and bright sun all day.  Sightings included 2000 short-beaked common dolphins, 1500 long-beaked common dolphins, and 1 humpback whale. Captain Colton and the crew found several mega pods of dolphins today scattered across the Channel.  Some were the high-flying …

A mother humpback and her calf, similar to what we encountered today.

Loads of dolphins, a mom/calf humpback pair, and a very scenic day!

2019 11-21 SB Channel and Santa Cruz Channel We found no wind, sunny skies and very clear, blue water.  All of which made finding and enjoying wildlife even better.  A long-period ground swell from the west was hardly noticeable on the open ocean. Our track crossed the Channel and ran up into the Santa Cruz Channel (aka, “The Gap,” in …

Scarlet is seen here mugging the Condor Express. Thanks to Danielle de Vito for this photograph.

Scarlet greets and mugs us, among other cetal things.

2019 11-17 SB Channel Although the Santa Ana winds kicked up again near Pt. Mugu and Malibu far to the east of us, we encountered calm winds with clear and sunny skies.  It was perfect for locating and watching cetaceans.  Captain Colton and the crew reported over 1000 long-beaked common dolphins and 4 humpback whales. A few feeding groups of …

A short-beaked common dolphin takes a walk, similar to what we observed today.

Abundant whales and two species of dolphins

2019 11-16 SB Channel Skies were sunny and bright. Seas were calm, although a few rollers scraped the northern face of the island during our tour.  Sightings were great:  1500 long-beaked common dolphins, 250 short-beaked common dolphins and 8 humpback whales. North of The Lanes we located an area rich with long-beaked dolphins and 5 actively feeding  humpbacks.  These whales …

A Mola mola much larger than this one (taken previously in the Channel) was seen today!

Lots of whales, dolphins and a HUGE Mola mola!

2019 11-14 SB Channel It was a cool, calm day in the Santa Barbara Channel with a high stratus layer.  Captain Dave and the crew of the Condor Express traversed the entire Channel in search of wildlife and amazing sights. Totals included 7 humpback whales, 2500 long-beaked common dolphins and 1 Mola mola (ocean sunfish). Dolphins were scattered everywhere but …

A hot spot with diving pelicans.

Dolphins and humpbacks on a wonderful day in the Channel.

2019 11-10 SB Channel The north half of the Channel had great sea conditions but the south half, near Santa Cruz Island, got a bit breezy.  Skies were clear and sunny. Sightings today included 2 humpback whales and 1500 long-beaked common dolphins. Life began in The Lanes. Sounds like an interesting book title.  The plot might include loads of dolphins …