A Risso's dolphin in the Santa Barbara Channel

Four different species of cetaceans today

2018 08-08 SB Channel – Far West

Captain Dave and his crew explored a fresh territory and located four different species of cetaceans in the far western Santa Barbara Channel.  After several days of working the opposite end of the Channel, Dave changed things up, and had a spectacular trip to waters we do not often frequent.  Whereas Anacapa Island and beyond were active hot areas earlier, today brought us as far west as Gaviota.  Sightings for the day included: 1500 long-beaked common dolphins, 50 offshore bottlenose dolphins, 50 Risso’s dolphins (see photo) and 1 humpback whale.

Among the three kinds of dolphins, the common dolphins were everywhere along our route today.  Of course, all of the sightings today were enhanced by the spectacular weather and calm sea conditions.  The Condor Express was also the subject of attention as a large pod of bottlenose dolphins, always highly acrobatic, intercepted our course and gave spectacular looks.  The third dolphin species was the Risso’s dolphin, and we passed through a wide spread-out area with several hundred of these huge, white animals.

After finding loads of dolphins, seabirds and sea lions near Gaviota, Dave took the long way home by running east along The Lanes.  Near the mid-Channel NOAA buoy a small humpback was located. It had great markings with a white tail and white pectoral fins.

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