2018 10-11 SB Channel
Although skies were covered by a gray marine layer for part of the trip, seas were absolutely calm and still. Captain Tasha and the crew took the Condor Express across the Santa Barbara Channel to the waters north of Santa Rosa Island. Closely watched encounters included 3 humpback whales, 1500 long-beaked common dolphins, 75 California sea lions and 200 offshore bottlenose dolphins. It was a great day and especially nice to spend time with offshore bottlenose dolphins.
Traversing the Channel on the way out to Santa Rosa Island, and then again coming home, large aggregations of common dolphins located the boat. As is their custom, they rode along our sides, surfed both our bow wave and our stern wake. It was on the trip going to the Island that the very large group of bottlenose dolphins found us. Captain Tasha reported seeing several small calves in the group. She also mentioned that many of these larger dolphins were doing tremendous acrobatic leaps.
At the Island hot spot we located 2 adults and 1 juvenile whale. They averaged 6 – 8 minutes down as they appeared to be feeding sub-surface. They worked in a tight pack. The juvenile did a bit of rolling around and there were a few close approaches by the trio. A nice-sized mob of California sea lions were shadowing the whales, and probably getting nicely fed on their by-catch.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and