A "Saildrone," an autonomous sailing drone, was encountered today in coastal waters west of Santa Barbara.

We once again found Scarlet and a sailing research drone.

2018 11-03 SB Channel

Marvelous conditions prevailed throughout the western Santa Barbara Channel: no wind, clear skies and warm sun. Captain Dave and the crew of the Condor Express closely watched 8 humpback whales, 2000 Long-beaked common dolphins, and one very unusual sailing research drone! Among the whales, we once again found Scarlet.

As we moved west, and a few miles beyond platform Holly, A strange sailing object is located on the surface of the water. As we approached at a safe distance, the object turned out to be a research vessel… an unmanned drone that uses the wind for its transportation. A quick Internet search suggests it’s sails around for the purposes of tracking great white sharks!

Next up we found three humpback whales that were quickly joined buy another, and all four were surrounded by dolphins. One of those whales breached twice over a 20 minute span. Both of the leaps were very close to the boat and great looks were had by all. Dave then turned off shore and made a loop back to the east.

Near the mid channel buoy, our old pal Scarlet and a friend came to the boat and then soon teamed up with two additional whales.  Scarlet and her cohort spent some quality time very close to the Condor Express…perfect for selfie’s!

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry
Condor Express, and
CondorExpressPhotos.com

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