Blue whales appearing in large numbers in the Santa Barbara Channel

Largest animal on earth by Santa Cruz Island

Blue whales appearing in large numbers in the Santa Barbara Channel. (John Palminteri /KEYT photo)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The largest animal on earth is currently in the Santa Barbara Channel and the sight is considered to be an incredible opportunity for anyone going out on whale watching trips.

Blue Whales arrived recently to begin going after an abundant food source - krill.

That's been found out by Santa Cruz Island.

The Condor Express Captain Dave Beezer took about 30 people out today.  Along the way the trip was slowed to take a look at Humpback whales in the channel along with dolphins.

The big show was near Santa Cruz when numerous spouts were seen from a distance.

The boat was positioned where those on board could see the whales when they came up every five to ten minutes and feed from the surface.

It was always a mystery exactly where they would appear, but there were plenty of them to keep the crew and passengers busy in all directions, when the whales did surface.

It was nearly a private show.  Late in the trip, a second whale watching vessel out of Ventura arrived.

The Condor Express operates out of the Santa Barbara Harbor and leaves daily at 10 a.m. for a trip that lasts about four hours.  

Naturalists are on board including Austin Macrae who says the whales are the size of two or three school busses.   He helps the guests understand more about the unique channel environment. There's also on going commentary from Beezer about everything related to the marine life the vessel interacts with, either on the current trip or other encounters.  

One returning whale watcher Keith Robinson says it is the only place in the world he can see so many whales in one area.  He says, it is  "the best thing ever!"

Macrae says later this year, the whales will go south to warmer waters.

For more information go to: http://condorexpress.com/


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