2020 10-10 Santa Cruz Island
There were two climate zones in the Santa Barbara Channel, one near the city and the other near the island. While Santa Barbara and the harbor were quite cool under overcast semi-foggy conditions, the islands had warm weather, blue skies with bright puffy clouds. Seas at Santa Cruz Island were calm, and as Captain Dave said, “perfect for barefoot waterskiing.” Disclaimer: we are not a waterskiing vessel. J Sightings were also fantastic: 5 giant blue whales and 2500 long-beaked common dolphins.
The first large herd of dolphins located the Condor Express about 6 miles offshore and was especially great to watch because the water clarity was splendid. Later in the trip and on the long trip back from the far eastern end of Santa Cruz Island, several megapods added to our dolphin joy. I know I’ve emphasized how nice it has been to see the giant blue whales for the past 3 months, but equally wonderful has been the continual presence of large common dolphin herds.
Speaking of giants, Captain Dave approached the western end of Santa Cruz Island near the painted cave and turned east for the long and prosperous trip to Anacapa Passage. In The Lanes near the cave our first giant appeared. After a couple of long dives it surfaced very close to the boat for a wonderful surface interval that featured looks at its “blue streak” caused by the bright sun and water clarity. A bit further east, and also in The Lanes, two single giants and then a pair of exceptionally large blue whales were closely watched. I’ve had several conversations with widely-traveled whale watchers and none of us can think of a place anywhere else in the world that has had such a wonderful blue whale season.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and