Four species of cetaceans and fantastic conditions.

Bob Perrywhale watching californiaLeave a Comment

A Risso's dolphin in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2022 01-08 SB Channel

Sunny and warm weather returned to the Channel on a day that was further enhanced by glassy smooth seas. Sightings included: 1025 long-beaked common dolphins, 12 Risso’s dolphins, 200 offshore bottlenose dolphins and 4 Pacific gray whales.

Just 1 mile from the harbor entrance a very small pod of 25 common dolphins found the Condor Express and rode our wake waves for a while. After crossing the Channel and on the north side of The Lanes, a much larger mega pod of commons provided wonderful looks and some great dolphin selfies.

Captain Dave gave a nice interpretation of Santa Cruz Island history and ecology. This was punctuated by a trip inside the outer chamber of the world’s longest sea cave, the Painted Cave.

As we exited The Cave we were immediately besieged by a dozen or so Risso’s dolphins. The spent the whole time on the surface and were very boat friendly. Not long after we first spotted the Risso’s dolphins, a group of 200 or more offshore bottlenose dolphins began to mix it up with the Risso’s. All of this took place next to the boat. What a wonderful interspecies encounter!

Dave moved west and then turned south into the Santa Cruz Channel. Four Pacific gray whales were located here. As we watch them, two things became clear. They were diving deep with 12-minute down times, and they were not changing their location. Very strange stuff!

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

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