A friendly Minke whale.

Humpbacks, Minke, and both short- and long-beaked dolphins

2018 08-09 SB Channel

Captain Colton and the crew of the Condor Express ran a course parallel to Santa Cruz Island, heading east to a point several miles north of Chinese Harbor.  Seas were glassy and calm.  The morning fog patches gave way to a high stratus layer with good surface lateral visibility.  Sightings included 1 Minke whale, 1300 long-beaked common dolphins, 200 short-beaked common dolphins and 2 humpback whales.

About 5 miles outbound from Santa Barbara Harbor in the morning the crew located and watched a nice Minke whale. It was in a foggy spot, but we still managed to get great looks.

Further south, common dolphins made their first appearance and would be seen most of the day thereafter.  Most of the dolphins were the more prevalent long-beaked species, but a small pod of the short-beaked species did put in an appearance.  Often the short-beaks are more animated, do more aerial acrobatics, and so forth.  Both species love to visit the Condor and ride its wake.

There were two whales today and although the sightings began with them a mile apart, the two gradually came together.  The pair did a lot of kelping, and was extremely friendly and made several close approaches to the delight of their fan club members.

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