Record numbers of humpbacks, “exhaled breath condensate,” and copious kelping!

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A humpback whale in the Santa Barbara Channel. The beast is on its back, rolling in kelp, and using both its long pectoral fins to fling stipes and fronds of giant kelp asunder.

2021 10-17 SB Channel Skies were sunny with glorious patched of billowing cumulus clouds. The wind and seas were both calm but ramped-up a bit as the day moved on. There were near record-breaking numbers of cetaceans today, including: 19+ humpback whales, 2500 long-beaked common dolphins, and 500 California sea lions. All of the hot spots were on the coastal … Read More

Spectacular fall conditions with amazing numbers of marine mammal sightings!

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Track of today's trip courtesy of MarineTraffic.com

2021 10-16 SB Channel Calm seas and sunny skies provided the perfect conditions for a whale and dolphin explosion in the Channel today. Sightings included 14+ humpback whales, 3000 long-beaked common dolphins and 300 California sea lions. Five mile south of Shoreline Park we located and watched our first of many whales: a pair of humpbacks surrounded by several hundred … Read More

A multitude of cetaceans features a logging humpback mom & calf.

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A humpback logging in the Santa Barbara Channel...as close to sleeping as it gets?

2021 10-15 SB Channel Captain Dave reported flat seas with a long-period ground swell at the islands. Skies were clear and sunny but smoke from the Alisal Fire could be seen looking west. Sightings were tremendous: 10 humpback whales, 20 offshore bottlenose dolphins, 3000 long-beaked common dolphins and 200+ California sea lions. It did not take long for the action … Read More

Remarkable encounter with an adorable humpback youngster.

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An upside-down humpback greets the Condor Express in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 10-13 SB Channel There was no fog or stratus of any kind today. Seas had a moderate swell and light chop from a breeze blowing from the northwest. Sightings included 3 humpback whales and 2500 long-beaked common dolphins. Scattered dolphins located the Condor Express starting just 6 miles offshore. This area also included a large group of at least … Read More

Among 8 closely watched humpbacks, a mother and her calf stole the show.

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Humpback whales are not vegetarians (No whales are). But they sure like to play around in the detached, drifting kelp paddies.

2021 10-10 SB Channel – East Calm seas, sunny skies and plenty of wildlife made today’s adventure a memorable one. The trip worked a hot region located 4 or 5 miles north of the beautiful eastern end of Santa Cruz Island. Sightings included: 1 Minke whale, 8 humpback whales and 4000 long-beaked common dolphins. The crew also removed one collapsed, … Read More

Humpbacks and dolphins a-plenty with a fresh breeze blowing.

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Humpback whale spouting into the breeze. Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 10-09 SB Channel Skies were clear, sunny and bright due to a fresh breeze. Seas were moderately rough accordingly. Nonetheless, Captain Dave and his “eyes-like-an-osprey” crew notched 3 humpback whales and over 5000 long-beaked common dolphins today. The first many hundred dolphins located the Condor Express inside the northbound commercial shipping lane. Three individual humpback whales were also in … Read More

12 humpbacks including friendly Scarlet with this year’s calf.

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Scarlet has a calf every few years. Here's a photo of her with her 2018 calf named "shorty."

2021 10-07 SB Channel Seas were calm with a light chop and skies continue to feature gray, high clouds. Sightings included: 12+ humpback whales, 200 California sea lions and 3000 long-beaked common dolphins. Our first pair of whales was watched just north of the NOAA East Channel Buoy amidst lots of dolphins and sea lions. About a mile away 4 … Read More

Among 9 humpbacks watched, 6 were actively socializing on the surface!

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Humpback whales in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 10-06 SB Channel Calm seas with a high stratus kept things mild and comfortable today. Sightings included: 9 humpback whales, 1 Minke whale and 1500 long-beaked common dolphins. The crew also removed 4 deflated, helium, Mylar balloons from the ocean surface. The lone Minke whale was watched through several breathing cycles and good looks were had by all. This, … Read More

Hotspot on fire, Day 2

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Skies were blue and were calm. Captain Dave and the crew ran back to the same honey hole that was so productive yesterday. This hotspot, north of Santa Rosa Island, did not disappoint. Sightings included 14+ humpback whales, 3000 long-beaked dolphins and 200 California sea lions.  It was truly an amazing hotspot…so much feeding activity going on. We closely watched … Read More

Large numbers of mammals today including Scarlet and her latest calf!

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Portrait of the humpback whale named "Scarlet" for obvious reasons.

2021 10-02 SB Channel The dense fog, on the deck, became a high stratus layer with adequate lateral visibility by the time Captain Dave and the crew reached the hot spot. Speaking of hot: closely watched species included: 12+ humpback whales, 3000 long- beaked common dolphins and 200 California sea lions. All the above sightings took place at one place: … Read More