2017 11-24 SB Channel
Captain Eric and his crew found unusually hot weather and great sea conditions in the Santa Barbara Channel. Eric took the Condor Express to the west end of Santa Cruz Island and along the way spent time with 6 giant blue whales, 1 humpback whale, 1500 long-beaked common dolphins, 1 ocean sunfish (Mola mola) and several dozen California sea lions. Summer weather and fantastic marine mammal sightings were enjoyed by all.
The first sighting was in The Lanes near the western end of Santa Cruz Island. It was a HUGE ocean sunfish (Mola mola) that was well over 4 or 5 feet in diameter. A sunny day with calm seas often brings out the sunfish. It was a great sighting.
Closer to the island a megapod of dolphins came to the boat and played with our waves for a nice long time. Clear, calm waters made for excellent dolphin viewing.
A little further offshore from the island the giant blue whales were located. These were particularly cooperative and friendly giants. Their dive times averaged 3 – 4 minutes and during many of their surface intervals they came close to the Condor Express. It was as good as blue whale watching gets. Some of the blue whales did a bit of surface lunge feeding too. Numerous sea lions were also active here.
As we watched the blue giants, a single humpback whale swam by the area heading west.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.