2022 05-06 SB Coast
Two public whale watch excursions departed Santa Barbara Landing today, a morning trip and an afternoon adventure. The marine weather was very good with sunny skies and no wind all day. Sightings for the day included: 4 humpback whales, 1 Minke whale, 3600 long-beaked common dolphins and 200 California sea lions.
As we departed the harbor on the morning run, a large hot spot offshore was seen. Sea birds in the distance, plus a bit of surface commotion led us to an area rich with northern anchovies on the surface. You could easily see the bazillion little fish as you looked into the water and the action stretched out for at least 2 miles. Thousands of common dolphins were actively hunting the anchovies from under the water while many different species of sea birds mounted an aerial attack. Nearly 100 sea lions were also engaged in feeding, and, before long 2 humpback whales located the bountiful zone and joined the banquet.
At noon, we ran southeast to a point just north of the gap between Platform Alpha and Platform Henry. A large adult Minke whale passed by closely on a few of its surface intervals. Meanwhile, another hot spot full of the usual suspects was located nearby. Several hundred additional dolphins and two more humpback whales were feeding here. One of the whales did a couple of surface, sideways feeding lunges.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and