Mini Mola’s, a mega pod, and humpbacks too

Bob Perrywhale watching california

Tiny "dinner plate" sized ocean sunfish, Mola mola, in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2022 05-23 SB Channel

Captain Devin and the crew found extremely flat, calm seas all day in the Channel. Skies had a marine stratus layer until around 130pm. There was no wind. Sightings were great, including 3 ocean sunfish (Mola mola), 7 humpback whales and 1500 long-beaked common dolphins.

A few miles out from Santa Barbara we found 3 adorable ocean sunfish (Mola mola). They were all around 8 inches in diameter, which I jokingly call “dinner plate Mola’s.” Fortunately, no one else does! Great looks were had by all.

The Condor Express ran across the entire Santa Barbara Channel to Santa Cruz Island, then turned west and across the Santa Cruz Channel. All 7 whales were located here, a single, a pair, another single then another pair, and a final single whale. None of the whales were feeding, nor were there any behaviors other than they were moving about and came together as a group without any fanfare. No apparent feeding was going on as far as we could tell and they were all tending towards a westerly movement pattern.

About half way home a mega pod of dolphins located the Condor Express. They were moving east at a fairly rapid speed. Then, as often happens, some kind of “switch” was turned and the entire mega pod went into stampede mode. The boat followed and watched the spectacle for over 10 minute and at speeds in excess of 15 knots. This was NatGeo stuff!

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry
Condor Express, and