Ideal Summer Conditions Again – Great Sightings

Bob Perrycommon dolphins, Condor Express, humpback whale, Santa Barbara Channel, sea lion, Velella velella

Although it looks miniature in this wide angle photograph, this is the entire body of a 35 foot humpback whale taken today in very blue water.

Although it looks miniature in this wide angle photograph, this is the entire body of a 35 foot humpback whale taken today in very blue water.

 

Ideal Summer Conditions Again – Great Sightings

Flat as a lake and the morning commute drizzle ended and the sun came out as we left Santa Barbara Harbor.   The famous #SantaBarbara sand spit surf spot was chest-to-head high as a small portion of an enormous south swell way out past the islands worked its way on to the beach.  At least 2,000 long beaked common dolphins were watched today, mostly in pods of a few hundred or less.   One pod was a nursery school full of very tiny calves zooming all around and testing the waters.  Speaking of water, the northeastern Santa Barbara Channel continued showing extremely clear blue water and the visibility of wildlife below the surface was awesome.  In addition to all the dolphins swimming down there, a medium small humpback whale came alongside the boat and you could see the entire body due to the underwater viz.  This is the real deal.  After great humpback whale looks and scads of dolphins, we took a quick trip over and paid a visit to beautiful Santa Cruz Island.  Here we saw the majestic sea cliffs, kayaks exploring the nooks and crannies, and when we were inside scenic Potato Harbor, we waved to a small group of island hikers that were watching us watch them from the edge of the bluff straight up above us.   Those purple jellies, Velella velella, were even more abundant today, and many patches of surf grass debris, Phyllospadix torreyi, had flowers in bloom.  Of course it would not be the same without dozens of California sea lions cavorting all over the Channel.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry
Condor Express