2015 06-18 SB Channel
There was a thick marine stratus layer most of the day and as we departed Santa Barbara there was a light breeze from the west. Sea conditions were great. At 10:30am, about 2 miles south of the Harbor, Captain Eric kept the Condor Express in good visual range of about 200 long-beaked common dolphins.
Our next stop, around 11:05am, was in a large and moveable feast that was not too deep, but not showing on the surface either. 12 or so humpback whales were patrolling this shifting anchovy bait ball, following the lead of the more agile and wily 1500 or so #dolphins sharing the dinner hot spot. We stayed in the area for about an hour as the beasts, large and small, moved here and there and showed plenty of nice tail flukes to thrill their fan club on the boat.
Just after noon Eric took us over to the western end of Santa Cruz Island for a nice island visit which included a penetration of the world-famous Painted Cave. As we departed the Cave for the open waters, Eric mentioned, speaking generally, how bright blue our blue whales appear, even on a cloudy day. At the mouth of the Cave the surface water temperature was 61.8F…still waiting for El Niño, myself.
At 1:35 pm, smack dab in the southbound commercial shipping lane, deckhand Augie-the -Eagle-Eye spotted two additional humpback whales and about 1000 #dolphins working yet another hot spot. By the time we got back inside Santa Barbara Harbor it was sunny, warm and breezy.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
PS I’ll get today’s photographs posted online as soon as possible.