2017 05-29 Memorial Day
Rope and her calf, plus 2 blue whales, plus 2,000 long-beaked common dolphins created a memorable day for all. It was a day with a thin marine layer that got a little bit breezy during the late afternoon. It was another epic day on the Condor Express.
Just past the outer entrance buoy to Santa Barbara Harbor, Captain Eric located several hundred dolphins in groups of 20 – 30. The little cetaceans were spread over a wide area and wasted no time coming to the boat and riding our wake waves. Eric then headed east until the sudden appearance of our friendly humpback whale, Rope and her calf. As with yesterday’s encounter, this pair once again “mugged” the Condor Express and went through a repertoire of behaviors that included spy-hopping and rolling upside down. All this took place within a few yards of our hulls. Wow!
Continuing to the southeast, the crew saw many humpback spouts and a few Minke whale dorsal fins, but they were fleeting and thus Eric did not stop on these animals. I include this information as a short testimony to the abundance of whales in our area right now. About 3 miles south of the rig line a single humpback surfaced near the boat and we had good looks. It was a very large whale.
In The Lanes, and near the eastern Santa Cruz Island landmark, Scorpion Anchorage, two very large blue whales were watched. They showed all the signs of feeding on subsurface krill aggregations and swam the characteristic semi-circle during breathing cycles. One of these giants came within a few dozen yards of the boat, as Captain Eric kept us slowly backing away. Both beasts showed their huge tail flukes when diving.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.