One of most amazing sights ever took place today (4/1/18). Debris from the old Tiangong-1 Chinese space station fell all around the Channel as a very rare pod of at least 100 Maui’s dolphin or popoto (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui) was seen along the coast.
In fact, 4 gray whales and 1,400 long-beaked common dolphins and 1 big ocean sunfish (Mola Mola) were closely watch during 2 trips today. Skies were overcast but we were once again spared from the dense fog monster. Seas were calm.
The morning trip ran up the coast (west) where a mother gray whale and her very young calf were located near the kelp beds off More Mesa. We followed behind at a safe-but-enjoyable distance up to Goleta Bay. A few times the little calf lifted its head out of the water to look around.
During the whale sighting a mega-pod of around 1,000 dolphins passed us from the west, going eastbound. We turned and had amazing sightings (not as amazing as popoto) all the way back home.
Noon found us heading west again. This time a pair of juvenile whales was found about ¾-mile offshore from Goleta. Again, great whale sightings were had by all. Another, smaller, pod of dolphins were seen on this trip, too.