Risso’s, humpbacks, commons & a mob of sea lions

Bob Perrywhale watching california

Risso’s dolphin in the Santa Barbara Channel

2019 12-26 SB Channel 

Captain Colton and the crew found moderately rough seas in the Channel today but nonetheless scored some fantastic sightings. Species include 2 humpback whales, 3000+ long -beaked common dolphins, a few hundred California sea lions and 10 Risso’s dolphins. 

Sightings began during our tour of the majestic seacliffs on the west end of Santa Cruz Island in the vicinity of the world-famous Painted Cave. There was a large mob of California sea lions all rafting in one big mass on the surface. We got some good close looks. Soon thereafter a small pod of Risso’s dolphins located the boat and circled around us a few times…one of the best sightings we had in a while.

From here we traveled far to the west and ended up off Carrington Point, Santa Rosa island. Two tall spouts result in our finding a pair of very large whales. They were “good” whales that showed their tails when they fluked-up, but otherwise they were moving very quickly to the east and kept us on our toes.

On our way home sea conditions became calmer and before long we encountered a mega pod of long-beaked common dolphins, one of the largest gatherings that Captain Colton has seen in the Channel!

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry
Condor Express, and