2021 07-20 SB Channel
The morning fog burned off and sunny skies prevailed thereafter. Seas were glassy and calm all day. Sightings included 8 humpback whales and 3000 long-beaked common dolphins. What a summer it has been!
The dolphin pods were closer to shore today and a pod of 200 found us less than 1 mile off Leadbetter. It was a nursery pod and fog never interferes with watching these friendly cetaceans ride alongside the Condor Express. Pods persisted throughout the trip.
Northwest of the NOAA East Channel Buoy a large group of dolphins were seen feeding and a single, large, adult humpback was in the mix. Although it had relatively long dive times, it made up for it by a wonderful close approach.
Moving further northwest, Captain Colton and the crew quickly spotted three more individual whales as the fog lifted. The first was a large and super active adult. Highlights of its behavior included pectoral flipper-slaps, chin slaps, tail throws, and a bunch of full-body breaches close to the boat. Bravo!
Moving west to a position about 8 miles off UCSB, 4 more whales were encountered. Some active surface feeding was observed in the distance, but became sub-surface as we arrived. These whales, as all the others, were embedded within dolphin pods.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.”
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