2018 09-05 SB Channel
The fog monster hung around most of the morning and there was near zero visibility at times. Consequently, there was little or no wind and seas were flat calm and glassy. Don’t ask me how Captain Dave and his crew did it, but once again, despite fog, the wildlife sightings were very good. Closely watched species included: 2 humpback whales, 2000 long-beaked common dolphins, 25 inshore bottlenose dolphins and 75 offshore bottlenose dolphins. It’s not often we see 3 species of dolphins on the same trip and whales too.
Things got rolling right off the bat as the Condor Express located a large pod of inshore bottlenose dolphins near Stearn’s Wharf and followed them into the East Beach Anchorage. After this first encounter, Dave took the boat to the west and ended up with the first humpback whale and nearly 1000 common dolphins about 6 miles south of Campus Point.
From this vantage point, the Condor crossed the Santa Barbara Channel, crossed The Lanes and soon a much larger pod of the offshore type of bottlenose dolphins located us near the west end of beautiful Santa Cruz Island. The offshores are particularly animated and known for their frequent aerial displays. Dave proceeded to the world-famous Painted Cave (on Santa Cruz Island) and put the boat into the first chamber of this, the world’s longest sea cave. Dave’s interpretation of the history, paleontology, ecology and current environmental trends on Santa Cruz is not to be missed.
As we started to head home, the fog lifted to bright sun. Another huge pod of common dolphins came to play and soon a second humpback whale was seen in the mix. It was a whale we’ve been seeing a lot recently, with white tail and white pectoral fins.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and