Condor Express - SEA Landing
301 W. Cabrillo Blvd.
Santa Barbara, CA  93101

(805) 882-0088 (Phone)   |   (888) 779-4253 (Toll Free)   |   (805) 965-0942 (Fax)

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Year Founded:
    1973

Description:
   This all-new, 75 foot, high-speed catamaran is the most comfortable & advanced vessel on the west coast, in the premier Whale Watching & Party/Dinner Cruise venue in California. Crew members are experienced naturalists. Come ride with the experts.
    The Santa Barbara Channel is home to over 30 different species of whales, dolphins, and seals and sealions that visit throughout the year, making these waters some of the most consistent locations found anywhere to view a variety of marine mammals. The Discovery Channel's "Wonders of our National Parks" highlighted the outstanding abundance of marine life in the Santa Barbara Channel and named it "One of the 10 Best Places in the WORLD to View Wildlife."
    From May through November (summer season) our cruising grounds include the nutrient rich waters around Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands. It's this area that is generally considered to contain one of the world's highest concentration of feeding blue whales and humpback whales in the world! In the winter and spring months we visit with the California gray whale herd as it passes by on both their Southern and Northern migration.
    The CONDOR EXPRESS is available for private charters for those who wish to book the entire vessel for any type of function or event, including birthdays, weddings, fundraisers, anniversaries, or a sunset cruise. Groups can be as small as 10 people or up to 149 persons. The CONDOR EXPRESS is just what your group needs for that perfect experience on the water. Its large, luxuriously teak paneled, walk through cabin offers comfortable booth seating for up to 68 people! A complete galley, cocktail bar, buffet hot table and salad bar. And catering is always available from light snacks and hors d'oeuvres to full dinners. We also offer regularly-scheduled Open Party Cocktail/Sunset Cruises along the coast, as well as Adventure Cruises such as Pelagic Bird Trips, Island Kayaking, and much more throughout the year. The CONDOR EXPRESS is also the perfect platform for educational and research trips, as well as marine-oriented film work. It has the speed and stability to work comfortably anywhere your research needs take you, and is well equipped with state of the art navigational equipment, a large working deck, and the ability to work underwater equipment.


Activities Available:
    Birding,  Cruises,  Kayaking,  Tours,  Whale Watching,  Wildlife Tours,  

Business Categories:
    Bird Watching,    Boat Charters,    Boat Charters,    Deep-Sea Fishing,    Kayaking & Canoeing,    Tours,    Whale Watching,    Whale Watching,    Whale Watching,    Wildlife Tours,

Business Hours:
    Summer: 24/7 -- Winter: 6 am - 7 pm

Payment Accepted:
    Cash,   MasterCard,   Visa,  Debit Card,  

Admittance:
    During normal business hours

Location Type:
    Boat

Languages Spoken:
    English,  

Indoor/Outdoor:
    Outdoor Location

Handicapped Accessible?
    Yes

Smoking?
    Some restrictions

Cell Phones?
    Permitted

Cameras/Recording Equip.?
    Permitted

Pets Allowed?
    No

Gift Certificates?
    Available for Sale

Classes Offered?
    Yes.


 
 Recent News & Buzz!!
4/24/15 - Gray Whales Play in the Surf !
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We ran one trip today departing at 12 noon. Once outside, there were scattered windrows of transparent, dead Purple Sailor jellies (Velella velella) to the west of Santa Barbara Harbor today, and only a few random non-windrow blue and live ones. Such may be the life cycle of Velella velella. The long-beaked common dolphins and gray whales were in much better shape than Velella. Off the Lighthouse we encountered 50 or so #dolphins and had a nice play session with them before proceeding westward. Further up the coast near Ellwood we found 6 gray whales traveling together, three mothers and their calves. At one point, near the Ellwood refinery beach, 4 of the gray #whales made a bee-line to the surf and we watched them ride waves, roll around, show their pectoral and tail flukes and more rarely, lift their heads, in water that must have been less than 10 feet deep. There were plenty of bubble blasts and in the photos you can see sand plumes being kicked up all around the whales. The calves seemed to be the most bold in their penetration of the breakers. It was well worth the trip to the west, that’s for sure. What a show!
4/22/15 - Whales, Dolphins and Abundant Purple Sailors
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Mirror glass conditions persisted for most of the day in the northern Santa Barbara Channel today with only a very slight breeze starting up around 2 pm. There were overcast skies most of the day, with little “sucker holes” through which the sunshine peaked through to tease us all. Dave took the captain’s chair and, with Augie on the binoculars, we covered the entire coast from Rincon up past the Elwood oil pier. It was another fabulous day for wildlife.
Right off the bat Augie spotted a small pod of 4 coastal bottlenose dolphins which were made up of 3 adults and a large calf/ juvenile. The coastal water was a bit green, but we still were able to see these large #dolphins ride the bow. Next we encountered about 500 long-beaked common dolphins chasing little “pinhead” anchovies all around out front of Santa Barbara Harbor and East Beach. There were numerous little calves leaping here and there across the mirror surface and a bunch of California sea lions were in there too. Three Minke whales (2 large, 1 small) patrolled the zone as well.
We continued west up the coast until we located a quad pod that was, you guessed it, made up of 2 mother gray whales and their calves all traveling together near the kelp in front of the Bacara. The overcast marine layer conditions caused the spouts from these #whales to show up nicely and hang in the air forever.
Although we had been seeing scattered By-The-Wind Sailor jellies (aka, Purple Sailors, Velella velella) all day, Captain Dave eventually put the Condor Express on a vast field of these cnidarians north of Platform Hillhouse. There were acres of these little living disks and in some places where the wind did its magic, the animals were packed tightly together to form what looked like a raft of living bubbles. Dave was on the PA and mentioned that ocean sunfish (Mola mola) eat these jellies and a second later a large fish appeared within the raft and was selecting the prime cutlets from the stock. Wow!  Website
4/20/15 - 2 Gray whale mother-calf pairs and a really BIG pod of dolphins
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Captain Eric lead one trip out of Santa Barbara Harbor today and it was a doosy. Although we had sunny skies for this trip, it stated out a wee tad cool due to a nice breeze from the west, but as the trip went on, the wind flopped out and it was genuinely fantastic. Four gray whales consisting of 2 mothers with their calves were watched, as well as about 2,500 long-beaked common dolphins.
12 noon. ..... We ran all the way up the kelp line to the Goleta Pier were we intercepted our first pair of gray #whale mothers and calves. We followed along up to Campus Point having had wonderful looks the whole time. At one point the pair altered its course by 90° and headed straight for the Condor Express. Although the pair was still a good 100 yards away from a line of kelp growing on the Goleta Pier Sewer Pipe in very murky water with less than 10 foot horizontal visibility, they somehow “sensed” or “knew” about this obstacle and took the radical detour way before they were within underwater visual range. Food for thought regarding gray whale navigation, eh wot?
We next ran offshore and located a massive herd of long-beaked common #dolphins that was at least one mile long and moving east. Instead of being a wide and randomly dispersed pod, or a tightly packed mega-pod, it was a very long frontal line sweeping across the water. They did show good interest in the boat so it was really fun.
Later we’d find another pod closer to the shore with about 100 animals, and that was just prior to us spotting yet another gray whale mother and calf about 1.3 miles off the Mesa.  Website
4/20/15 - Two nice coastal excursions with plenty of marine mammals
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Captain Eric once again took charge of the mighty Condor Express and had two great whale watching trips today with a total of 6 gray whales, 200 long-beaked common dolphins and 50 Pacific white-sided dolphins.
9am. ..... Four gray whales which consisted of 2 mothers and their calves. The calves got frisky. There were bubble blasts, kelp rolls, and spy-hops galore. The fan club on the Condor loved every minute. Later we accompanied 200 or so long-beaked common dolphins as they did their thang (rode bow, rode side wake and surfed the stern waves.
12 noon. ..... One gray whale cow-calf pair with nice surface time and great looks. Later we encountered about 50 Pacific white-sided dolphins.
The weather was good, sea conditions good and a lot of fun was had by all.  Website
4/16/15 - It Must Be Spring: Mothers and Babies of all Kinds Today
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Mothers and Calves Day must have been declared in the Santa Barbara Channel today because we had the good fortune to see the following mothers with their calves: humpback whales, gray whales, and long-beaked common dolphins. It must be Spring… punctuated by the fact that we saw the same pair of mother and calf long-beaked common dolphins all by themselves, away from the main pod, on both trips.
9 AM ..... We escaped the moderate irregular wind swells from the west Channel by running east. The further we went east, the nicer things got. Our first mammal sighting away from the Harbor was the aforementioned cow-calf pair of common dolphins near Ty Warner’s estate. As we moved further offshore and eastward we came upon several hot spots filled with #dolphins, sea lions and various sea birds. We estimated at least 250 long-beaked common dolphins here. Interesting side note: our first Velella velella (Purple Sailors) of the Spring were floating in this area too. About 6 or 7 miles south of Rincon we encountered another 100 or so common dolphins. Finally, we ended the morning show with some GREAT looks at a mother humpback whale and her calf.
12 Noon ..... Having seen no gray whales on the morning trip, Captain Dave decided to head west into the swells, which had subsided just a bit. We intercepted a quad pod of gray #whales off Leadbetter Beach and stayed with them past Hope Ranch. It was a pair of mother gray whales and their calves. They were very photogenic especially using the nearby beaches as their backdrop. A long visit later we turned offshore and almost immediately our eagle-eyed deckhand Augie found another wide area containing at least 1,000 long-beaked common dolphins. We followed and played until we found ourselves southeast of the Harbor and running short on time. What a fantastic day !  Website
4/12/15 - Cetaceans of all kinds on a sunny, calm day.
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Captain Eric was at the helm again today and this time he steered the mighty Condor Express on two excursions: 9am and 12 noon. Calm seas, very light breeze at times, sunny and warm: a great day for marine mammal watching.
9 AM ..... West of Santa Barbara Harbor we found a pod of at least 25 Pacific white-sided dolphins mixed with California sea lions that were very friendly with the Condor Express. Speaking of friendly, the next dolphin species to do a “ride-along” was the bottlenose dolphins and we had 5 in shallow water play with us. Off Leadbetter we found the last species of the morning, a mother and calf gray whale pair.
Noon ..... 6 or 7 bottlenose #dolphins greeted us as we departed the Harbor, and we stayed with this pod until 2 gray #whales migrated through our path. The gray’s led us west and up near the Goleta Pier we found 50 or more Pacific white-siders (also known as Lags) spread out over a wide area with lots of California sea lions. We next took a loop offshore 5 miles or so and located a very active humpback whale. It breached several times, slapped its tail and did all this within close visual range of the boat.  Website
4/11/15 - Gray Whale Calves and More !
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We ran two trips today, 9am and 12 noon. There was a light breeze with periods of glassy water all day long. The high clouds kept the air temperature moderate, and the filtered sun made it nice to view the marine mammals.
At 9am we located 3 gray whales south of Santa Barbara Harbor and they turned out to be a mother and her calf plus one additional adult whale. We followed along and got great looks. About that time we encountered a wide swath of ocean with at least 100 Pacific white-sided dolphins that came over and rode every inch of energy we put into the ocean, bow, sides, and stern. After a short while we next located a small and scattered pod of about 25 long-beaked common dolphins. Nice to see two dolphin species and three different cetaceans on a single excursion. The trip ended as we ran back towards the beach from dolphin heaven only to re-locate the same 3 gray whales we started the trip with. Life is circular at times.
The noon adventure began with about 500 long-beaked common #dolphins about a mile or so south of Shoreline Park. Fun and games did abound as these animated beasts really put on a show for our cruise ship Star Princess passengers. After a great amount of enjoyable time with these smaller cetaceans we ran east to test the waters and before long we encountered 3 gray whales. Similar to the group dynamics we found on the morning trip, this, too, was a mother gray whale and her calf plus another #whale. These three made at least two passes very close to the Condor Express as we put everything in neutral and drifted along. Wow! Fabulous sighting.  Website
4/5/15 - Four different cetacean species today
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Captain Dave found northbound juvenile gray whales on all three trips today. It was sunny and nice but with a small bump from the winds blowing far to the west. In total, 7 gray whales were watched today and as a special bonus, three different species of dolphins were around the Condor Express for a total of 4 species of cetaceans. Any day with that kind of cetacean diversity is a great day to be in the Santa Barbara Channel. Here is the detailed account:
9am. 2 gray #whales, 100 long-beaked common dolphins, and a special guest appearance by 75 or so Pacific white-sided dolphins that surfed our wake for quite a while.
12 noon. 2 gray whales, 75 long-beaked common #dolphins and a bonus interaction with 6 coastal bottlenose dolphins.
3pm. 3 grays and at least 300 long-beaked commons up near UCSB.  Website
4/4/15 - Gray whales, humpback whales and 2 species of dolphins
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It was another fine day in the Santa Barbara Channel today. We ran a noon trip and a 3 pm adventure, and had good sightings on both. At noon we located two northbound gray whales up near the lighthouse. It was two juveniles and good looks were had by all. The #whales led us into a pod of 50 or so long-beaked common dolphins which, naturally played around the boat per usual. Later, to the east of the Harbor, we found a nice group of 6 coastal bottlenose #dolphins, which made three different cetacean species on the early afternoon trip.
By 3 pm there was a bit of chop and wind to the west, so Captain Dave took the Condor Express east to the Flats, and before long we were watching a mother humpback whale and her calf. At one point there was bait on the surface (as indicated by the sea lions and birds) and the whales lunge-fed into the hot spot. What a great show!   Website
4/3/15 - Another great day full of cetaceans
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Today we ran two trips into the cetacean paradise we call the Santa Barbara Channel. It was a bright and sunny day with a light breeze and a moderate sea from winds far to the west. At noon, Captain Dave spotted a gray whale simultaneously with deck hand Eric just east of the harbor entrance buoy. Strangely, this whale was heading east. It had long down times, some nearly 13 minutes, but its surface time was close to the Condor Express and we had great looks. Unbeknownst to us at the time we would encounter this same whale again at the end of the noon trip and we’d find it leaving large sediment plumes on the surface. Was it feeding in the 50 foot depths? …scratching the bottom to remove parasites? We’ve seen (and I’ve photographed) a few such sediment plumes near gray whales on the northbound migration this season.
Our next significant sighting was a pair of gray #whales about a mile south of the breakwater. The pair swam side by side and headed directly into the on-coming swells. Soon we located a wide spread group of at least 150 long-beaked common dolphins that were engaged in feeding on balls of anchovies that we could see from the boat. The trip ended, as you already know, by locating the same whale we started with.
The 3pm adventure took us west of the harbor as we followed two young gray whales heading to Alaska. They had regular habits and were great to watch. Soon the gray whales brought us near a hot spot with birds diving, California sea lions jumping, and at least 75 Pacific white-sided #dolphins. Everyone was feeding on the anchovies that were massed in this spot. It was a semi-National Geographic moment.  Website
4/2/15 - All sorts of fun cetaceans on a sunny day
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April was not fooling around with us today. Each and every one of our three 2½ coastal trips were spectacular, but the first two were the best. Captain Eric was at the helm and deckhand Tasha was on the binoculars. ’nuff said.
The 9am trip found a moderate short interval bump coming down the Santa Barbara Channel from gale force winds far to the west. A light breeze was blowing but the sun was out and a sweatshirt was all you really needed. Tasha located our first northbound gray whale off Hendry’s, and it was travelling very close to shore and had long down times. Our attention was soon drawn to a wide-spread pod of at least 100 Pacific white-sided #dolphins. They appeared to be feeding on little balls of anchovies that we could see here and there. All the white-sided sightings this week (and today) have found them mixed with very active California sea lions (acting like dolphins). We found another single gray whale off Hope Ranch and had good looks. As we made our way slowly back towards Santa Barbara Harbor we had a nice interplay with 12 coastal bottlenose dolphins, and soon thereafter, about 100 long-beaked common dolphins. That made a total of 4 different species of cetaceans on the morning trip.
At noon we located 300 or so long-beaked common dolphins about 2 miles straight out of the Harbor, and exactly at the same time and place, a single gray whale. Then it happened. The dolphins seemed to elicit rolling, and upside-down swimming by the gray whale, and it even spy hopped a few times while still on its back. There were lots of mother-cow pairs in this common dolphin pod. A short while later we had another 150 individual pod of common dolphins. We headed down-swell to the East and offshore from Summerland we found a pair of gray whales, one of which was breaching (at least 8 or 10 times) and spyhopping very close to the Condor Express. We followed this pair and had nice looks even after the acrobatics calmed down. The trip ended with about 30 or so Pacific-white sided dolphins mixed with California sea lions which we located and watched off East Beach.
The 3pm adventure took us east to avoid the wind and swell that had kicked up in the later afternoon. We eventually located and watched a nice gray whale, but it was a challenge with the oncoming seas that gave us a little rock and roll music. The whale ran into the kelp bed near the Coral Casino and then out again. It was a nice whale on a moderately uncomfortable ocean.  Website
3/25/15 - Humpbacks, Grays, Bottlenose and Commons !
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Right off the bat we had a brief encounter with 5 inshore bottlenose dolphins on the morning trip. They led us through the East Beach anchorage for a while, and then eagle-eyed second captain, Eric, located some taller spouts not even a mile outside Santa Barbara Harbor. This would turn out to be a nice pair of young northbound gray whales and we rode along with them up to Hendry’s. Near Hendry’s we were about a mile off the beach and spouted numerous spouts near the kelp beds closer to shore. We quickly got on another pair of gray #whales and they behaved much like the first pair, nice surface times but long down times. Luckily the bright sun and clear water offshore made the sightings even better. The last cetacean species of the morning was a group of about 100 long-beaked common #dolphins full of mother-calf pairs…a “nursery pod.”
The calm and glassy sea conditions coupled with air temperatures in the 80’s F persisted for most of the noon trip. On this afternoon adventure Captain Dave, acting on good intel, took the mighty Condor Express far to the east of Platform Hogan in the Ventura Flats region in search of humpback whales. Along the way we played with over 500 long-beaked common dolphins in the crystal clear water. The dolphins were scattered across the zone, not packed up into a pod. About that time we spotted the tall spouts of at least 3 different humpback whales in the region. The friendliest and closest one was our buddy “Scarlet” which regular readers will recall from last year. Scarlet, in short, has a deep propeller scar and a few associated globular tumors that were also no doubt a result of the propeller. Scarlet had nice surface times and long down times. At one point she passed directly under the Condor Express as we could tell from a long and robust bubble stream that rose to the surface along our port side. Later we saw the other humpback whales, but not as nice and close as Scarlet. On the way home we saw gray whale spouts all over the nearshore waters, and followed one from the eastern edge of the East Beach anchorage back towards the Harbor.  Website
3/22/15 - Waves of Gray Whales Pulse along the Coast
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It is fascinating to me how the gray whale migration along the Santa Barbara Coast comes in waves. Take today for example. Captain Eric ran two trips, 12 noon and 3pm, each 2½ hours long. They were both excellent trips with wonderful sightings, and a total of 14 gray whales plus 300 or so long-beaked common dolphins were observed.
On the noon excursion, we found 2 pairs of gray whales (more spouts in the distance). These #whales were steadily moving up the coast and spent a lot of time on the surface. The ocean was calm and blue, and there was hazy, warm sunshine. We had a great time with these whales, plus at least 250 long-beaked common dolphins came by to play. A good trip.
However, on the 3pm adventure, 10 gray whales were seen. The first group included 6 whales that spent over 90 minutes rolling around, swimming upside down at high speeds, tail slapping, chin slapping, and opening their mouths to show their baleen to the world. They never left the surface during the entire sighting, and after it was over the group split in two….three and three. Next about 50 common #dolphins played on the bow and entertained the fans. This led us to 2 more pairs of gray whales about a mile apart, and each pair was a large adult and a small juvenile, perhaps a yearling, whale. In both cases the juvenile became very friendly and approached the Condor Express.
The best hypothesis I can come up with regarding today’s migratory pattern was that gray whales must leave the lagoons in waves, and/or mix and match as they come up the coast so as to form pulses of large cetacean bodies all together.  Website
3/19/15 - 5 Gray Whales
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The Condor Express is back ! We ran a single noon trip and had a blast. All the action was west of the harbor, from Leadbetter up to Elwood. We had good looks at 5 gray whales, one of which was super friendly. The water is still very clear so the sightings of the #whales and #dolphins were wonderful. Speaking of dolphins, we had a solo pod with about 10 long-beaked common dolphins, and practically all of them were mother-calf pairs. Very cool.
Conditions were glassy in spots, light chop in others. There was little to no wind and the sky was gray as a “storm” was supposed to be entering the zone later tonight. It was a mellow ride today and it was great to be back home on the Express.  Website
3/18/15 - Gray Whales Salute Old Condor's Departure
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The original 90-foot long steel sportfishing boat Condor, aka “the Original,” or “Big Bird,” ran its last two whale watching trips of the season today. 9 am and 12 noon trips left the docks for 2½ hour adventures and it was another fantastic day all the way around. At 2:37pm the Condor’s aluminum high speed offspring, the Condor Express, returned to Santa Barbara Harbor. We bid the original Condor a fond adios and thank the crew for helping us whale watch for the past month or so.
It’s “welcome home” day for the Condor Express which has been in the boat yard undergoing a major overhaul of the engine rooms, painting outside and in, and generally doing everything possible to get ready for another 13 years of consecutive A-1 service. Coast Guard inspections were passed with flying colors as Captain Dave had the Express in tip top shape.
The 9am trip on the Condor ran with glassy seas that had a small wind bump coming down the Channel from winds and swells far to the west. Skies were generally cloudy and areas of virga could be seen in the sky. This trip featured cetaceans both large and small. On the small side, we watched at least 100 individual long-beaked common #dolphins spread over the area. As the boat moved near them, they took turns visiting and riding the bow. The show stopper for the morning adventure was our long and magical encounter with two fabulous northbound gray #whales we found off Hope Ranch.
At noon the bump on the ocean was subsiding and it was even glassier and calmer than our morning trip. We watched at least 8 gray whales with many more spouts all around us. One group was particularly frisky and we witnessed breaching, head-lifts, rolling, spy-hopping upside down and other forms of “socialization.” On this adventure we ran into at least 100 long-beaked common dolphins, but unlike the morning encounter, the afternoon dolphins were all in one nice pod.   Website
3/17/15 - Grays and a Humpback
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The venerable original Condor ran three 2½ trips today, at 9 am 12 noon and 3 pm. Again we had mirror glass seas, crystal clear blue water, and a hazy summer-like warm sun. Great sightings were enjoyed by everyone on board. Here’s the breakdown:
On the 9am adventure we ran west from Santa Barbara Harbor until we located a pair of nice gray whales on their northbound migration through our Channel. The pair of whales fluked up a lot. Not long thereafter we also found a single gray whale which became quite friendly with the boat and made one very close approach to our bow. Conditions were superb and sightings were very good. At least 200 long-beaked common dolphins were also part of the morning show.
At noon we also ran west and found 2 different gray #whales about 2 miles south of Hope Ranch. All three of us, the Condor and the two whales, “swam” side-by-side for several miles in the clear, glassy water. After turning around and slowly heading back towards the Harbor, we encountered another pair of gray whales. A handful, perhaps 5, long-beaked common dolphins were seen on this trip.
Although I was not personally on the 3pm trip (of course) it turned out to have seen quite a spectacular display from gray whales AND a humpback whale. They watched 3 gray whales, and as you know, one of them breached in plain view of its fans on the Condor. The humpback rolled around and did a series of pectoral fin slaps; this initially is what caught the crew’s eye. Upon arriving in the vicinity, the humpback whale breached fairly close to the boat twice and put an end to the dreamy, sleepy kind of afternoon we had been enjoying. Wow! It should also be noted that we rode along with 7 nice bottlenose dolphins just outside the Harbor.  Website
3/5/15 - Gray Whales, Humpback Whale and Dolphins all at Once!
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Captain Scott and his crew left Santa Barbara Harbor at noon today for a single excursion out to whale land. Conditions were calm and sunny, and the whales were abundant. Out past the rigs where we hit the “mother lode” yesterday, the Condor found a total of 5 northbound gray whales, about 1,500 long-beaked common dolphins, and watched a single humpback whale (there were more humpbacks in the distance). At one point there were dolphins, the humpback and a gray whale right next to the boat at the same time. Oh, yeah, the humpback also breached to put the icing on a great trip today.  Website
3/3/15 - Two Gray Whales Get Frisky
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One trip today left the docks at 12noon for the Santa Barbara Channel. There was a moderate breeze at first, but then it calmed down quite a bit. We ran along the coast to the west and ultimately located a pair of gray whales heading northbound. One #whale was bigger than the other, but the smaller one was not a calf. The two migrated without much fanfare and we had great looks. Then, as we reached the end of our trip near the Goleta Pier, the two started spy hopping and rolling around. On the way back to the harbor a few long-beaked common dolphins came over and ran with the Condor. All in all it was a great trip on a day when the sky was bright and sunny with puffs of huge storm clouds here and there all around us.  Website
2/28/15 - 12 Gray Whales & Some Breaching
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With a supposed storm on the way, we were, in fact, treated to moderate seas and sunny skies. A moderate breeze kicked up later in the morning, but nothing to write home about. We actively watched 12 gray whales on our two trips. Most were northbound or ended up northbound after fooling us with a southbound trend, only to reverse course on us. Some disappeared and were never seen again by us. There were two nice breaching whales from different pods.
On the morning adventure we had 8 closely watched gray whales, and many many more spouts in the area that we did not have time to dwell on so I didn’t count them. The morning also featured a small group of long-beaked common dolphins (perhaps 10) and a few messed around with the whales. The afternoon trip had 4 more gray whales including the breaching whales, plus a very close up and personal visit by a California sea lion pup that swam over to the Condor and introduced itself.
Let it rain! We had a great day today on both trips.  Website
2/26/15 - Breaching Gray Whale Steals Show
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It was a drizzly overcast day, the modern southern California version of a “rain” storm, as the Condor searched for cetaceans today. Two southbound gray whales were spotted on the afternoon trip down east near the Carpenteria Oil Pier. The good news was that one of the #whales breached twice and it’s fan club on the Condor went wild. One of the pair ran alongside the boat for a while giving great looks. Perhaps 100 long-beaked common dolphins were also in the vicinity and put on a good show. The light breeze kept sea conditions very tolerable despite the sprinkles.  Website



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