2016 06-08 SB Channel
Captain Dave and his highly-trained crew produced another epic excursion into the Santa Barbara Channel. There was no fog, but the stratus hung around off the deck so it was faintly warm, extremely glassy and with good lateral visibility for finding wildlife. The wildlife has been very good over the past week or two, and today was even better.
About 8 miles out from the harbor there was a zone of activity which ultimately yielded 3 humpback whales, 2 blue whales, and 250 long-beaked common dolphins. Great looks were had on a “mill pond” sea surface. Dave proceeded further south.
Our next hot spot was actually in The Lanes. Here we watched 10 more blue whales with more in the area, 10 more humpback whales (more around us), and 4 fin whales. Both the blues and the humpbacks were fluking-up quite often. When we were actively engaged with all these marine mammals, a very large container cargo ship, the “Serena P,” was in the northbound lane and on a track which may have resulted in a potential whale strike. Captain Dave was able to make quick radio contact with the captain and the very cooperative Serena P veered off course to completely miss the whales. Bravo, Serena P! Bravo, Dave!
Purple sailor jellies, Velella velella, were everywhere on the surface and we did make a short stop to watch and photograph an ocean sunfish or Mola mola, that was feeding on Velella.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. It’s getting better all the time.