2018 04-07 SB Coast
Captain Dave and his crew ran two trips today, one at 9am and the other at noon. There were 5 gray whales, 6 inshore bottlenose dolphins, and around 50 Pacific white-sided dolphins closely watched today. The sea conditions were nice in the morning as a few light rain squalls passed through the Santa Barbara Channel. After the storm clouds it got a little breezy for the afternoon excursion.
Hendry’s Beach, and its kelp bed, provided the location for our first sighting today as a half-dozen bottlenose dolphins located the Condor Express. They played with us for a while as we continued west. A bit offshore from Goleta Bay a second species of dolphin, the Pacific white-siders, came out of nowhere and started chasing us. The final sighting of the morning trip took place up at Coal Oil Point (aka, Counter Point). A mother gray whale and her very young calf were watched and everyone had great looks.
Another cow-calf pair got the noon trip off to a great start. The pair was relatively shy, and we did our best to keep with them from Hendry’s to More Mesa. Moving west, a single whale was spotted near Coal Oil Point. By this point the winds had become moderate and this whale was also a bit on the shy side. All of a sudden, another group of Pacific white-sided dolphins found the whale and circled around it. The whale responded by rolling around and swimming upside down with the dolphins. This inter-species interaction was fantastic to see.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.