Spectacular migrating gray whales!

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Gray whales in the Santa Barbara Channel

2022 01-05 SB Channel

Seas were nice and there was a little breeze, but only in the southern Channel, near Santa Cruz Island.  Skies were sunny all day. Sightings included 2000 long-beaked common dolphins and 12 Pacific gray whales. The crew removed 1 dangerous deflated, floating, Mylar, helium balloon from the surface. They could not retrieve a 6-foot boat fender that probably came off an ocean-going tow boat or something.

The first of two megapods of common dolphins located the Condor Express about 6 miles offshore. It was a tight group and we got great looks.

Near The Lanes the wind kicked up a little, and as we moved closer to Santa Cruz, the southbound migrating gray whales came into view. Unlike the coastal northbound migration that happens later this spring, most of the southbound whales move along the Santa Barbara Channel Islands. We spotted a single spout, then got set up for great looks on a group of five whales. A bit closer to the island, near Pelican Bay, 3 more were observed.

Captain Dave took us on a nice tour of Pelican Bay and talked about the fascinating history of this beautiful location. We also waved at the hikers atop the sea cliffs.

On the way home we intercepted 4 more whales and another megapod of dolphins.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry
Condor Express, and
CondorExpressPhotos.com

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