Western Channel was full of cetaceans.

Bob Perrywhale watching california

Common dolphins in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 07-22 SB Channel

All of the action was on “our side” (north) of The Lanes, with 4 humpback whales, 2000 long-beaked common dolphins, and 200 California sea lions closely watched. Skies were gray from a high stratus layer and, with a light breeze, seas were still fairly calm.

About 8 miles southwest of Platform Holly, or about even with Naples Reef, our first hotspot resulted in our observing lots of dolphins feeding subsurface with plenty of seabirds, sea lions and two nice humpback whales. The first was an adult and was going about its business when a juvenile whale showed up and rubbed up against it. After both dove, we never saw the juvenile again and we quickly modified our impression that we had seen a mother with her calf. It was apparently a quick, affectionate, meet-and-greet.

Five miles even further to the west we watched a much large adult humpback whale for a few breathing cycles, then changed course, ran out to The Lanes, and headed east. In the vicinity of the NOAA East Channel Buoy we found and watched our fourth whale: another adult.

On the way home:  more dolphins!

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