2021 07-06 SB Channel
We had high, thin overcast skies and semi-glassy seas today. The mid-Channel water was noticeably clearer than it has been which made our sightings even more enjoyable. We saw: 3500 long-beaked common dolphins, 100 California sea lions, 1 ocean sunfish (Mola mola) and 1 humpback whale.
Dolphins found us just 4 miles offshore (similar to their pattern all week) and were, once again, present for the duration of the trip. Pods varied in size from a few dozen to over 100 individuals. Several pods had numerous calves in their midst.
South of the NOAA Buoy and in the separation zone between The Lanes, we located the one and only large and very active hot spot. Northern anchovies sub-surface were attracting multitudes of dolphins, sea lions and birds. One large humpback whale was also feeding there. Today’s humpback whale came close to the Condor Express a couple of times and was a regular fluker…always great for those whalfies! Just outside the hot spot we spent time with one of the largest ocean sunfish (Mola mola) we’ve watched this year.
Captain Colton and his crew took advantage of their sightings location and did a short tour of the Santa Cruz Island sea cliffs, crevices and grottos. This also included putting the boat inside the outermost chamber of the world-famous Painted Cave.
Dolphins were encountered all the way back to the harbor.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and