Humpbacks, a Minke, loads of dolphins and Oceanic Power

Bob Perrycommon dolphins, Condor Express, humpback whales, minke whale, Santa Cruz Island

A commercial ship and a humpback whale share the Santa Barbara Channel

2018 08-31 SB Channel

The hot spot today was, once again, along the edge of the southbound commercial shipping lanes.  The Condor Express made the following sightings:  4 humpback whales, 1 Minke whale, 650 long-beaked common dolphins, 300 California sea lions and 1 42,000 ton bulk carrier*.  Seas were a bit more exhilarating than yesterday, but those hearty whale watchers that were on board had some amazing sightings.  (NOAA weather indicates things will start to smooth out tomorrow).

There was not much wildlife seen crossing the Santa Barbara Channel until we reach the hot spot north of Fraser Point, Santa Cruz Island, as mentioned above.  A large pod of dolphins located the boat and before long had led 4 whales to our location as they all searched, located, and devoured anchovy bait balls.  The whales consisted of 1 large adult and 3 smaller whales (perhaps yearlings).

The hot spot meandered in and out of The Lanes as various container cargo, bulk carriers, tankers and other large commercial ships traversed the Channel using the Lanes as prescribed.  In one case the 225m long bulk carrier* Oceanic Power, was seen heading for Long Beach Harbor (from Kobe Japan), on a possible collision course with the whales.  Captain Dave made radio contact with the Captain of the Oceanic Power, and, is typically the case, the big ship altered its course heading and gave a wide berth to avoid the mammals.  Bravo, Oceanic Power!  Bravo, Condor Express!  Bravo, whales!

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