2016 05-16 SB Channel
Captain Eric spotted wildlife with his “eyes and ears” Auggie today as we circumnavigated the eastern Santa Barbara Channel and, in particular, the Flats. Our first sighting was at Platform Gilda where a large gas burn off flame was firing up and it left a smoke stream. Nearby we had our first large herd of about 1,000 long-beaked common dolphins. Most of the dolphins were chasing bait upside down on the surface which was interspersed with periods of travel. About 35 minutes later we were west of Platform Gina where we found a second scattering of around 1,000 dolphins. We also started an hour-long sighting with a small humpback whale. The whale had long down times and was fairly shy except for one surfacing directly astern of the Condor Express.
It was mostly sunny with a few puffy clouds here and there. The ocean was glassy and calm near the beach and a little bit windy offshore. The swell was small and was not uncomfortable at all.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.