2020 09-06 SB Channel Far East
Seven different mammal species today!
Captain Colton, aka “Boat Colton,” and his crew traversed the Channel in a southeasterly direction, ending up in the northbound Lanes adjacent to Anacapa Passage. Skies were sunny and a light breeze was present at times. Seven different species of mammals were closely watched today, including: 10+ giant blue whales, 1 humpback whale, 3000 long-beaked common dolphins, 500 short-beaked common dolphins, 500 offshore bottlenose dolphins, 10 coastal bottlenose dolphins and 27 California sea lions.
Just outside Santa Barbara Harbor we encountered a mixed-species feeding event with both long-beaked common dolphins and coastal bottlenose. As we watched, the common dolphins broke off and headed southeast while the coastal bottlenose continued to track the bait into the East Beach Anchorage. We continued to see long-beaked common dolphins all day including a GIANT mega pod with at least 2000 individuals in The Lanes. There were miles and miles of these dolphins.
Speaking of The Lanes, the first whale of the day was a large adult humpback with a tail that was all black. We had great looks until the crew spotted taller spouts not far to the east. Smack dab in the northbound Lanes we closely watched 10 giant blue whales. More were seen in adjacent waters. One of the most interesting things that occurred while amidst the blues was a large pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins. The dolphins came through the land of the whales and several instances of them riding the “bow” of the giants was witnessed.
On the way home, Kelly, the head Chef in Café Condor, somehow managed to spot a breaching humpback whale while carrying out her “official” duties. Arriving on the scene, the humpback did a few tail throws and showed a bit of drama. Given the size and coloration, the crew felt it was probably the same humpback we watched earlier.
Also on the trip back to the harbor a herd of highly animated short-beaked common dolphins located the Condor Express and interacted with our bow, side and stern waves.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and