Humpback whales in the Santa Barbara Channel

Hot action in the Channel – over a dozen humpbacks and more!

2019 05-15 SB Channel

A high stratus cloud layer did not deter the wildlife in the Santa Barbara Channel from finding the Condor Express today.  13 humpback whales, 50 long-beaked common dolphins, 40 offshore bottlenose dolphins and 200+ California sea lions were watched closely today. The Channel was teeming with life!

About 5 miles southwest of Goleta our first 3 whales were spotted.  There were two adults and a tiny calf working a small hot spot full of diving sea birds, a nice herd of common dolphins and very active sea lions.  From this point Captain Dave headed out towards the Santa Cruz Channel.  South of The Lanes a far larger hot spot was encountered.  Here we saw 10+ whales along with hundreds more sea lions.  Birds were diving everywhere and there was a wild feeding frenzy going on.  We hung around an enjoyed this spectacle. 

Meanwhile, despite the foggy skies overhead, lateral visibility was so good one could see all four islands at once.  On the way home a very animated pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins located us.  There were numerous calves in the group and loads of aerial antics to behold.  These animals were quite friendly and also magnificent to watch.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.


Bob Perry
Condor Express, and
CondorExpressPhotos.com