2015 06-26 SB Channel
Pretty quickly after a spin around the sea lions on the Santa Barbara Harbor entrance buoy we found ourselves about 2 miles west of Charlie with 500 long-beaked common dolphins and one humpback whale. There was absolutely no swell on the ocean today, with June overcast skies to start the trip and a very light breeze.
Next we moved over to a wide region south of the oil rig line and watched 4 more #whales and another 500 #dolphins. There were nice tail flukes and a few close and friendly approaches so the cetacean lovers on the Condor Express were very happy. There were additional spouts in the area.
Moving on to a location ½-mile east of Habitat, we found another wide zone with 5 more humpback whales and yet another 500 common dolphins. We watched for 15 or 20 minutes then, wanting to take advantage of the extremely calm seas, we ran south with the intention of visiting the east end of Santa Cruz Island. These plans were thwarted when, about 3.2 miles north of the island, Eric spotted one, then deck hand Tasha found another two, giant blue whales. The beasts had 10-minute down times that you could set your watch to. And, on three occasions, they fluked up to send thrills up and down their fans' spines. A fourth whale surface within a few hundred yards of the boat and we followed it too.
July and August are typically our blue whale months. We hope today is a good sign that they have arrived early.
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Our captain Dave, working with a team from CIMWI and the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol, captured a severly wounded California sea lion. The sea lion had a very deep cut encircling its neck, called a necklace wound, caused by being wrapped in nylon monofilament fishing line. The animal was captured and is being treated before being released back into the wild.