FIVE different cetacean species today!

Bob Perrywhale watching california

Risso's dolphin in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 11-27 SB Channel

As Captain Dave said, it was “…an epic day. The weather was just drop dead gorgeous with beautiful, flat, calm seas and blue skies.” A nice diversity of mammal species was closely watched, including: 1000 long-beaked common dolphins, 750 short-beaked common dolphins, 75 offshore bottlenose dolphins. 40 Risso’s dolphins and 1 humpback whale. Wow!

The action commenced as we slowed the ship to watch scattered pods of long-beaks between 2 miles and 5 miles outside the harbor. After these encounters, we continued our southerly trek towards beautiful Santa Cruz Island. On the north side of The Lanes, 750 highly active short-beaks located the Condor Express. As often happens, these little marvels were acrobatic with loads of aerial action.

Dave and The Cave: after a narrated tour of the majestic sea cliffs, nooks and grottos for which the north shore of the island is so famous, Captain Dave put the boat inside the first chamber of the world-famous Painted Cave. It was a bit choppy today, but exciting, nonetheless. After our aquatic spelunking, we headed west, up the Channel and almost immediately had a wonderful watch session with 75 offshore bottlenose dolphins. The group had lots of calves and were very boat friendly.

Past the western end of the island, Dave turned into the Santa Cruz Channel where we intercepted a wonderful pod of Risso’s dolphins in exceptionally clear, blue water. The looks were phenomenal.

Things were both calm and quiet on the trip back to the harbor except for the dolphins and a whale. About 10 miles from home, we slowed to watch a group of feeding long-beaks which also attracted a single humpback whale. The whale showed its tail flukes several times and we had a great sighting.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry
Condor Express, and
CondorExpressPhotos.com