2021 06-06 SB Channel
Although many spouts were seen, we closely watched 1+ humpback whale, 4000 long-beaked common dolphins, 250 offshore bottlenose dolphins, and 200 California sea lions. Skies had the same high stratus and the glassy surface had a gentle ripples if you looked closely. Captain Colton and the crew transected the Channel and searched along the north side of Santa Cruz Island and Santa Rosa Island.
We watched scattered small groups of common dolphins (25 – 100 individuals) starting only 2 miles south of the harbor. In addition, there were a couple of epic meetings with mega pods of commons later in the trip. The first such mega pod was near the NOAA East Channel Buoy where we spent some quality time watching 1000 or more individuals.
Moving to a location just north of the west end of Santa Cruz Island, there were at least 2000 common dolphins in a massive feeding hot spot filled with sea birds and around 200 hungry California sea lions.
Colton moved further west into the mouth of the Santa Cruz Channel and found numerous pods of (20 – 100 individuals) offshore bottlenose dolphins. Both species of dolphins were friendly and surfed our waves.
Colton continued his pursuit by heading across the Santa Rosa Island where we closely watched a single, large adult whale. This beast had long surface intervals, characterized by 15 – 20 breaths, before its short deeper dives. There were more spouts as we looked further west in the direction of San Miguel Island.
On the way home we passed by several additional spouts, but did not have time to deviate from our homeward course heading. A final mega pod of common dolphins found us just outside the harbor.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and