A cool trip (for both mammals and fog)

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A small school of mini Mola mola in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 09-08 SB Channel Fog was thick and lateral visibility was impacted until noon. Seas were accordingly mirror glass calm. Sightings included 6 humpback whales, 2000 long-beaked common dolphins, 50 California sea lions, and 15 ocean sunfish (Mola mola). A lone juvenile humpback whale located us just south of the Carpinteria oil rigs. It was quite friendly and lifted itself … Read More

8 great whales and 1 goes “kelp crazy!”

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A spy hopping, kelping humpback whale in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 09-07 SB Channel With glassy flat seas all day, Captain Dave and the crew traversed the entire Santa Barbara Channel from the Harbor to the west end of beautiful Santa Cruz Island. Along the way, the following were closely watched: 8 humpback whales and 3000 long-beaked common dolphins. Two adults and one juvenile humpback whale were located hear the … Read More

Crew performs miracles with epic sightings in zero visibility fog

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Common dolphins in clear water on a foggy day in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 09-06 SB Channel How did Captain Dave and his crew pull off one of the most interesting adventures of the month in zero visibility dense fog conditions? To be fair, the sun did break out as we approached Santa Barbara Harbor at the end of the day.  The numbers don’t tell the whole story, but here they are: 6 … Read More

A phenomenal humpback mugging and endless pods of dolphins.

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A friendly humpback is shown spy hopping next to the Condor Express in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 09-05 SB Channel The usual sky pattern was with us again today: dense fog quickly becomes a gray stratus layer that burns off to clear blue skies fairly quickly. “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes.”  A slight bump, from winds to the west, was with us as well. Sightings were wonderful. We closely watched … Read More

Marine mammals galore: humpbacks, dolphins, sea lions.

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Common dolphins in the Santa Barbara Channel!

2021 09-04 SB Channel Captain Dave and his crew ran across the Channel to The Lanes and back with calm seas. Skies started with fog in the early morning, turning to a high stratus layer, and then, after noon, the sun prevailed. Sightings were phenomenal and included: 10+ humpback whales, 4000 long-beaked common dolphins and 200 California sea lions. A … Read More

Lots of humpback whales and dolphins on a sunny and calm day!

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Humpback whale in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 09-03 SB Channel Sunny skies and calm seas prevailed in the Channel and the wildlife sightings were great!  Closely watched species included 6 humpback whales and 2000 long-beaked common dolphins. BE SURE TO READ A SPECIAL BULLETIN AT THE END OF THIS REPORT. Our first small groups of scattered dolphins, many with 100 or so individuals, found us in … Read More

A sunny day brings out the mammals!

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2021 09-02 SB Channel  Skies were sunny all day with a moderate breeze picking up later in the trip and a light chop on the water. Sightings were phenomenal:  9 humpback whales, 5000 long-beaked common dolphins, 75 Risso’s dolphins, and 100 California sea lions. 10 miles south of Hope Ranch we encountered  the first group of common dolphins. It was … Read More

Thousands of marine mammals and it’s glassy again!

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Part of a mega pod of long-beaked common dolphins in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 08-31 SB Channel Our Captain Colton, famous up and down the waterfront, and the crew transected the entire Channel and found plenty of cetaceans coming and going. Once again, seas were glass flat and without wind. The high gray stratus was interrupted by sunny patches later in the trip. Sightings were, once again, phenomenal: 12+ humpback whales, 2 Minke … Read More

Mirror glass seas reflect humpbacks, a Minke and a lot of common dolphins!

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A humpback whale spouts on a mirror glass sea surface in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 08-31 SB Channel Fog turned to a high stratus layer which, in turn turned to blue, sunny skies late in the trip. Seas were glassy and flat all day. Sightings included 3 humpback whales, 1 Minke whale, 1000 long-beaked common dolphins and 40 California sea lions. About 4 miles south of Santa Barbara Harbor we did a bit of … Read More

Dolphins galore and a wonderful humpback-filled hot spot!

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An active humpback whale lobs its mighty tail in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 08-29 SB Channel There was a marine layer all day so the calm seas looked gray. Calm seas are nothing to complain about and we closely watched 9 humpback whales, 1 Minke whale and 2000 long-beaked common dolphins. The lone Minke whale was sighted just 3 miles out from Santa Barbara Harbor. It was a very large animal and … Read More