ACS Blue Whale Watch - July 26, 2008
Left from Santa Barbara aboard the Condor Express.

First we saw a nice sized pod of about 200 Long Beaked Common Dolphins and spent about 30 minutes with them before moving towards Santa Cruz Island.

Then we kept running across small pods of dolphins, everywhere. They were feeding on little bait fish (as were some birds as well).

Then near Santa Cruz we spotted a Minke whale. It was kind of odd because it was so small and also because it was swimming so close to the surface and looked like it was chasing its prey (the bait fish) like a dolphin would. Then a larger minke popped up, perhaps the mother?

After popping into Painted Cave we headed out to to the foggy channel in hopes of finding some Blue Whales. There was already a research vessel that reported at least one (well, they heard it but couldn't pin it down because of the fog).

Finally after about 30 minutes of cruising the murk we found a wonderful blue whale. It was huge and cooperative and fluked on about a third of its dives (and would usually breathe 3-6 times for each cycle).

(Then I pretty much go sick for the next two hours or so.)

More dolphins now and then, more sea lions and then more and more blue whales. I'm not sure how many, I couldn't tell because of the fog coming and going if they were the same whales. (There were at least eight uniques - we were seeing many blows in different directions at once.)

We even saw a little school of baby mola molas (ocean sun fish).
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