2019 07-08 SB Channel
Seas were very calm for the most part today, with only a little bit of chop as we approached the West End of Santa Cruz Island. Skies were covered with a high stratus layer. Captain Dave and the crew traversed the entire channel, and sightings included: 3 humpback whales, and 2000 long-beaked common dolphins.
Dolphins were found throughout the channel, everywhere we went, including around the whales that we watched. Our first sighting was Scarlet, a friendly female humpback that we have been watching since at least 2010. Again today she came up right next to the boat for a friendly encounter. we were about 6 miles south of UCSB at the time.
Our next stop was Santa Cruz Island. Dave ran along the majestic sea cliffs and put the Condor Express inside the world-famous Painted Cave. He also provided information about the prehistoric conditions, previous inhabitants, and current environmental concerns surrounding this, our largest California Island.
We were in the northbound shipping lanes, as we slowly headed back across the channel, when we encountered a very large humpback surrounded by dolphins. A container cargo ship was traveling in the lanes, as it is supposed to do, and we communicated with its captain regarding the presence of this whale. The ship made a course alteration and all went well according to the book.
Further along on our trip home, a third whale was closely watched, and it, too, was surrounded by dolphins. There were more whales in the distance that we did not have time to go look at.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and