Four different kinds of cetaceans on a single morning adventure

Bob Perrywhale watching california

The head of the 2nd largest animal to ever live on Earth...the majestic fin whale...in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2020 06-02 SB Channel

A single morning trip left Santa Barbara Harbor at 9am and found good sea conditions in the Channel. Totals for the trip included: 2000 long-beaked common dolphins, 2 fin whales, 1 Minke whale and 100 offshore bottlenose dolphins.

About 4 miles out from the harbor the first of two large pods of common dolphins located the Condor Express.  This group and a later pod were both spread out and became friendly with the boat.  Not long after the first common dolphin encounter 2 fin whales were located and watched.  One was a large adult whale and the second was much smaller.  The big one had an unusual notch at the base of its dorsal fin, and swam alongside the boat on at least two occasions.

A mile south of the fin whales we had a great interaction with about 100 offshore bottlenose dolphins. This species, as you probably know, is larger than the common dolphin. The bottlenose are also very active, with loads of aerial activity. Today’s sighting was right on cue.

Two more observations were made on our way back to the harbor. We encountered that second pod of long-beaked common dolphins that were mentioned above, and we watched a lone Minke whale pass…always intriguing!

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