Sea lions and a humpback whale.

Massive numbers of cetaceans again!

2019 6-19 SB Channel 

Just like yesterday we had overcast skies, extremely calm seas, and tons of cetaceans in the Santa Barbara Channel. Today we closely watched 16+ humpback whales, 1900 long-beaked common dolphins, and 50 California sea lions. It was another spectacular day! 

The scenario today was similar to that of the last couple of days except things moved closer to the mainland and we started getting into hotspots when we were just 5 miles out from the harbor. The surface water was glassy smooth so it was easy to spot the numerous spots of northern anchovies as we moved offshore. Some had been discovered by sea birds, some by dolphins, some by whales, and some by all three. Sea lions were also around most of the day.

Our first encounter in the morning consisted of a trio of whales and about 500 dolphins. One of the whales made an extremely friendly and close approach to the boat and had everyone’s heart thumping. Lots of other groups were located as we move continuously offshore. Just before noon another trio of whales included one that had a big chunk, or bite take it out of its tail fluke. Finally, as we headed home, a giant full-grown whale breached pretty close to the boat twice in a row!  One medium sized whale had caught the attention of a gang of sea lions. Wherever the whale went, so did the sea lions. When the whale dove, the sea lions dove. Sea lions can’t hold their breath as long, so the gang would come to the surface first and we knew that the whale would not be far behind.

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