2018 07-20 SB Channel – East
The thin marine layer clouds soon burned off and the day was clear and warm. Seas were calm. Captain Dave and the crew ran across the Santa Barbara Channel on a southeasterly heading and located a whale area off the northern face of West Anacapa Island. Closely watched sightings included 3 blue whales, 1 fin whale, 1 Minke whale and 250 long-beaked common dolphins. There were at least 3 more blue whales in the area.
In mirror glass water, and just a few miles out of Santa Barbara Harbor, about 50 dolphins passed by and a few diverted their course over to the Condor Express for a look. We also passed quite a few small, concentrated surface bait balls full of northern anchovies…neither the dolphins or sea birds seemed interested. About 20 minutes later a larger pod of dolphins located the boat and rode our bow, side and stern waves. Lots of very small calves were in this pod.
Around noon we were near Anacapa Island and started seeing the tall spouts. The three giant blue whales we watched were great…11 minutes down followed by 15 or more breaths on the surface. Again, we were blessed with blue skies and clear blue water to make seeing these beasts even more astonishing. During the blue whale encounters a single, small fin whale passed through the zone. We saw it twice and then it was gone. On the trip home we saw a nice Minke whale but did not stop.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and