Loads of active humpback calves in the island “nursery grounds.”

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A humpback whale breaches near beautiful Santa Cruz Island.

2021 06-02 SB Channel Seas were mill pond mirror glassy all day under a thin, high gray stratus layer. No wind. No swell. Sightings were consequently enhanced by these exceptional conditions, and we closely watched: 12 humpback whales, 24 long-beaked common dolphins and 100 California sea lions. Approximately 5 miles southwest of the harbor a small group of common dolphins … Read More

Humpback whales, Minke whales, Risso’s dolphins, offshore bottlenose dolphins…Wow!

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Our friend, the female humpback "Scarlet" with her unique propeller scars in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 06-01 SB Channel Outstanding sea condition and knowledgeable crew with keen eyes resulted in very good marine mammal sightings in the Santa Barbara Channel. Closely watched animals included 6 humpback whales, 2 Minke whales, 100 offshore bottlenose dolphins, 35 Risso’s dolphins and 100 California sea lions. We had a high, thin stratus layer except at Santa Cruz Island where … Read More

Mirror glass conditions with Risso’s dolphins, humpback whales, common dolphins and sea lions.

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A Risso's dolphin in clear, glassy Santa Barbara Channel waters.

2021 05-31 SB Channel After a few miles of adequate visibility the fog settled in for most of the day. As was the case today, fog often means glassy surface conditions. Closely watched mammals included: 4 humpback whales, 2 Risso’s dolphins, 250 long-beaked common dolphins, and 100 California sea lions. It was a memorable Memorial Day. Just 4 miles out … Read More

Great conditions. 4 different marine mammals including a large fin whale today.

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A large fin whale in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 05-30 SB Channel Skies were bright blue and sunny. Seas started off glassy but there was a slight breeze near Santa Cruz Island. A gently rolling 3 foot swell was more noticeable along the face of the island. Closely watched marine mammals today included 3+ humpback whales, 1 fin whale, 200 long-beaked common dolphins and 30 California sea lions. … Read More

Humpbacks in the wind are inspirational.

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A humpback whale rides up the face of a wave on a breezy day in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 05-29 SB Channel It was sunny, bit windy and a bit bumpy. We closely watched: 10+ humpback whales, 15 long-beaked common dolphins, 200 California sea lions. Captain Dave and his crew found a fresh breeze that picked up as they moved offshore. The first sighting was a good one. Seven miles south of the UCSB campus we watched a … Read More

North Channel exploration yields great results under “fresh marine” conditions.

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A large adult humpback whale gets active in the fresh breeze. Here a dramatic tail throw is captured.

2021 05-26 SB Channel Captain Dave and the crew encountered rather bumpy and breezy conditions in the Channel today. Making the necessary modifications for a comfortable trip, Dave wisely kept things here on the north side of the channel and spend a lot of time with the wind and waves a stern. Today we closely watched 10+ humpback whales,   75 … Read More

15 humpbacks plus two species of dolphins mix things up.

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A close look at a Pacific white-sided dolphin in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2012 05-25 SB Channel Captain Dave reports no wind in the Channel today except for a breeze at Santa Cruz Island. A high stratus layer kept things from over-heating. Close encounters included: 15 humpback whales, 100 Pacific white-sided dolphins, 50 offshore bottlenose dolphins and 200 California sea lions. A fantastic assemblage of white-sided and offshore bottlenose dolphins was encountered 7 … Read More

Most, but not all, of the whales were at the Island.

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Here's an adult humpback in the Santa Barbara Channel we called "Fire Hose."

2021 05-24 SB Channel   Conditions were excellent in the Channel today with bright sun all day and a light breeze particularly at the island. Captain Colton and his crew closely watched 12+ humpback whales, and 500 California sea lions.   Although most of the action was out at Santa Cruz Island today, remarkably our first humpback whale of the … Read More

Humpbacks plus 2 different species of dolphins today

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A surface-feeding humpback shows its baleen.

2021 05-23 SB Channel It was sunny all day and started out glassy and calm but things freshened up as we moved offshore. Captain Colton and his crew successfully watched 4000 long-beaked common dolphins, 4 humpback whales and 15 coastal bottlenose dolphins. As we attempted to leave the harbor this morning a small pod of coastal bottlenose dolphins located the … Read More