Lots of humpbacks, loads of dolphins and a huge sunfish.

Bob Perrycommon dolphins, Condor Express, humpback whales, Mola mola (ocean sunfish), Painted Cave Santa Cruz Island

A pair of humpback whales on a sunny day.

2018 10-24 SB Channel

Blue skies and fair seas enhanced the closely watched 7+ humpback whales, 1000 long-beaked common dolphins and 1 ocean sunfish (Mola mola). Captain Dave and his crew transected the Santa Barbara Channel as far as the western end of Santa Cruz Island.

The hotspot today was 6 – 8 miles offshore with all the whales in this zone and lots of dolphins too, although they were also found south of the area.  The whales were in groups of 2 and 3, and were making 5 minute dives presumably to feed subsurface.  A trio of whales did a bit of racing and chasing, which is fairly unusual for our neck of the ocean away from the mating and calving grounds.  It was lots of fun to see.  The dolphins spent a lot of time next to the Condor Express keeping an eye on their fan club.

Out at beautiful Santa Cruz Island Captain Dave gave an interpreted tour of the western sea cliffs and discussed the geological history, paleontology, prehistoric Chumash settlements and modern ecological projects of the region.  This tour was culminated by a penetration of the outer chambers of the world famous Painted Cave, the longest sea cave known.

On the way home we quickly passed by a huge ocean sunfish sunfish (Mola mola) that was resting on the surface but sounded as we went by.

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