2018 07-28 SB Channel
While ocean conditions were very nice, the atmosphere played some tricks on the Condor Express today, with patches of dense fog alternating with areas of good visibility. Nonetheless, it was a good day for cetacean-watching with 1500 long-beaked common dolphins, 2 humpback whales and 4 Risso’s dolphins closely watched.
Multiple smaller pods of common dolphins were watched on our way outbound from Santa Barbara Harbor towards the western end of Santa Cruz Island and Santa Cruz Passage. Their population sizes increased as we reached an area with lots of wildlife activity, with groups in the multiple hundreds of animals each. Common dolphins were spread out as far as one could see on the hot spot.
There were numerous patches of bait on the surface and probably a lot more unseen below. The dolphins and humpback whales were charging around and diving actively, resulting in nice humpback tail fluke sightings. The hot spot and all its life was subjected to the coming and going of dense fog which added an air of mystery to the event.
Captain Dave ran a nice tour of the northern sea cliffs of Santa Cruz Island. There was also a trip inside the first chamber of one of the world’s longest sea caves, the Painted Cave of Santa Cruz. Upon leaving the Cave and starting a track for home, 4 Risso’s dolphins were located and watched.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and
SPECIAL NOTE: the public whale watch tomorrow, July 29, will depart at 8am sharp from SEA Landing, and return approximately 1230pm. This is a one time schedule change.