It was mirror, mill pond glass on the Channel today and the sun came out after we ran south about an hour. We picked up several small pods of common dolphins as we passed through the north side and beyond the shipping lanes heading in the general direction of Santa Cruz Island. The sharp eyes of Captain Mat were aided by his pal “A.L.” who called and reported blue whales in the same area we had them yesterday. In all we had 3 blue whales and there may have been one or two others around the we didn’t get to. The sun was out and the ocean was still very blue, hence the gigantic blue whales looked wonderful and amazing in this environment. One of the three blue whales fluked up almost every time it dove…wow!
Captain Mat then headed in the general direction of the West End and Frasier Point for a little tour of Santa Cruz Island. But his quick eyes and sharp reflexes soon had us looking at a pod containing at least 75 Risso’s dolphins. Several of the females had calves and juveniles with them. One cow calf pair came very close to the Condor Express for a photo op. Again, in the blue water and bright sun, these looks were spectacular. Continuing westward, we found an area with a large number of common dolphins feeding here and there on northern anchovies. You guessed it. humpback whales were in there joining the banquet. We got great looks at at least 3 humpback whales, and there were many more in the area. The spouts and tail flukes with Santa Rosa Island in the background were magnificent to behold.
Throughout the trip we saw lazy rafting sea lions. We also saw 3 ocean sunfish (Mola mola)…a duo nearer the harbor, and a beast on the way home off Hope Ranch. The beastie Mola must have been at least 5 feet in diameter.
I’ll post the photos sometime on Thursday or Friday because I have to be gone for 2 days of “training.”
ALSO: Next Monday, August 5, our whale watch is an afternoon trip from 1pm to 530. Please note this schedule change.
Condor Express Odd Jobs