2018 10-19 SB Channel
Wow, what a string of great weather and sea conditions we’ve been experiencing in the Santa Barbara Channel this week! It was drop-dead gorgeous again today, with tons of wildlife to watch as well. Sightings included: 8+ humpback whales, 4 Dall’s porpoise, 2000 long-beaked common dolphins, and 1 elephant seal. Fantastic stuff.
Captain Dave and the crew of the Condor Express worked a region very close to where yesterday’s encounters took place. Dave steered a course to the southwest and found the hot zone about 9 miles south of Gaviota. The first species to locate the boat was Dall’s porpoise. About a half dozen of these living torpedoes zoomed alongside and rode our bow wave. It’s been a while since we’ve watched these small and highly interesting cetaceans.
The whales were mixed in with dolphins (not to be confused with the porpoises). Whales were found in singles and in pairs, and the 8 we reported watching closely were in the same general area. Additional whales and spouts were seen in the near distance. Two humpbacks about ½ mile away breached 6 or 7 times, sometimes both whales at one time. A different whale that was close to the Condor Express soon joined the celebration and it breached 3 or 4 times. It punctuated its aerial acrobatics with some mighty tail-throws.
On the way home a single female elephant seal showed its massive head above the whales, as the animal was oriented vertically in the water. After some quick, but nice, looks, it slowly sank into the deep.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and