It was a glorious day in the Santa Barbara channel. Captain Dave and his crew provided ample opportunities to watch five different species of cetaceans and hordes of California sea lions. Totals for the entire day including all three excursions included six gray whales, three humpback whales, one Minke whale, 3000+ long beak common dolphins and 100 pacific white sided dolphins.
9 AM. After leaving Santa Barbara Harbor Captain Dave pushed off shore and outside the old lighthouse came upon two gray whales. Excellent sightings were had by all. Soon, a surprising visit by a Minke whale sparked everyone’s enthusiasm. From this point the Condor Exptess ran west and soon found itself surrounded by at least 700 common dolphins that were actively feeding over a wide territory. In the dolphin mix to hump back whales popped up and had been feeding on the same anchovy schools as the common dolphins.
12 noon. Just outside the harbor entrance we located one relatively shy gray whale. Everyone had some looks before we headed west again as we did at 9 AM. Up near platform Holly, 700 long beak to come and dolphins came to the boat and played, soon to be joined by a single humpback whale. On the way home to very nice gray whales were watched.
3 PM. On the way west after leaving the harbor a single gray whale was followed as we moved up the line. To the west off platform holly we located two very active humpback whales and got great looks. And then a nice surprise: at least 100 pacific white sided dolphins came to the boat and we had an excellent looks at these wonderful dolphins. On the way home and further offshore two large pads of common dolphins came to the boat and there must have been at least 1500 of them.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.