2019 09-06 SB Channel
Seas were calm but then a breeze came up later in the trip. Skies were sunny and huge amounts of wildlife were found. Sightings included: 30 offshore bottlenose dolphins, 8 humpback whales, 2000 long-beaked common dolphins and 200 California sea lions.
About 5 miles out from Hendry’s Beach we were located by a nice-sized herd of offshore bottlenose dolphins. Not only were they highly animated and friendly, but we were able to see numerous calves in the mix. (Today’s featured photo shows one of these large dolphins in the Santa Barbara Channel).
A bit later many hundreds of a smaller dolphin species, long-beaked common dolphins, also found us with similar interactions x100. We would find dolphins all over and anywhere they could find northern anchovy bait balls.
South of UCSB a single large whale was located and we watched it for a while until the sight of multiple distant spouts called us away. Further south, and near the NOAA mid-Channel buoy, 7 additional whales were very actively feeding on a massive hot spot filled with dolphins, sea birds and a pack of several hundred hungry California sea lions. The whales quickly moved to keep up with feeding dolphins, and at times they moved apart and came together multiple times.
At one point the group of whales broke off from the feeding frenzy and passed close to, around and under the Condor Express. Wow!
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and