Five different cetacean species today

Bob Perryblue whales, common dolphins, Condor Express, fin whale, humpback whale, minke whale, Mola mola, Santa Barbara Channel

A giant blue whale with a peculiar dorsal fin was among the many seen this past week on the Condor Express.

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.
Bob Perry
Condor Express, and
CondorExpressPhotos.com