Whales and dolphins in the western Channel on a sunny day.

Bob Perrywhale watching california

Common dolphins in the Santa Barbara Channel feed on the same small fish as the humpback whales.

2021 07-23 SB Channel – west

Skies were blue with some light haze and a light breeze created an equivalent light chop noticeable when we headed west at the start of the trip. Sightings today included: 4+ humpback whales, 2500 long-beaked common dolphins and 150 California sea lions.

All of the action took place within a 2 mile radius, about 8 miles offshore from Elwood Mesa. Loads of dolphins were concentrated in this hotspot and were feeding below the surface. This attracted dozens of sea lions, hundreds of sea birds, and all of the humpbacks seen today. “Ol’ Osprey Eyes,” deckhand Devin, did it again and spotted the first two whales at a considerable distance. All four whales were individuals and spread out across the spot. The two that Devin spotted consisted of one adult and, later, a juvenile. This young humpback has been around for the past week and has a speckled skin. The crew is naturally attempting to photograph its tail so we can enter it into the system and learn more. “Speckles” (a temporary moniker, not officially sanctioned) made a couple of close passes by the Condor Express.

On the way home, among the many pods of dolphins, an adult was seen breaching in the distance and in the opposite direction of our path to the harbor.

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