2018 06-23 SB Channel
Five different species of cetacean were discovered in the Santa Barbara Channel on today’s excursion led by Captain Colton and his crew. The closely watched included: 4+ blue whales, 3+ fin whales, 1 humpback whale, 1 Minke whale, 200+ long-beaked common dolphins, and 1 ocean sunfish (Mola mola). Many more whales and dolphins were visible in the distance. Seas were calm and glassy again, and skies had a stratus layer that kept the ocean and animals gray.
About 5 miles out from Santa Barbara Harbor a small group of dolphins was encountered. They were spread out and feeding…chasing northern anchovies on, and just beneath, the surface. A lone, but highly visible, Minke whale was also working on the same fish and put in 10 or 15 nice sighting events.
Just north of The Lanes a single humpback whale was migrating…or at least moving in a straight line with singular purpose. It had short surface times with only a single breath, but given the ideal ocean conditions we stayed with it.
South of The Lanes, and a bit west of the previous day’s sightings, the giant blues and fins were feeding. A couple of the blues were regular flukers. Some of them were also friendly and made some nice passes close to the Condor Express. Between whales, a pod of about 100 dolphins passed through. A single ocean sunfish or Mola mola was also located.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and