2020 11-21 SB Channel
The blues were back and they had company!
It was another gorgeous day. Blue skies were capped by wispy high clouds. The surface was lightly rippled except along the north face of Santa Cruz Island where it was breezy and cool. Sightings were phenomenal: 5+ giant blue whales, 4 humpback whales, 1 big fin whale and 1000 long-beaked common dolphins. Additionally, 2 potentially destructive floating Mylar balloons were retrieved.
Believe it or not, the first pod of dolphins greeted us right outside the mouth of Santa Barbara Harbor. It is not impossible to have common dolphins this close to shore, but it is relatively rare. We took it as a good omen.
North of The Lanes two pairs of humpback whales were closely watched as they fed subsurface alongside 800 or so dolphins. Great looks were had of both species. Spouts were seen closer to the island.
On the scene of the spouts we closely watched 5 giant blue whales. More blue whales and their blows were seen both east and west of our location. The dive cycles were not synchronized and resulted in there always being at least one giant on the surface most of the time. A large adult fin whale was also mixed in with the giants.
The trip was punctuated by a great tour of the island sea cliffs and a look inside the world famous Painted Cave.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and