Date: Saturday January 28th, 2023
Harbor: Channel Islands, Oxnard
- Gray Whales – Southbound – 3 (North of Anacapa) 1(Santa Cruz Island)
- Coastal Bottlenose Dolphins
- Offshore Bottlenose Dolphins
Captain Alex Legaspi of the SUNFISH
Today’s extended length trip gave us an excellent opportunity to take time to explore areas not on our typical route. This began with following the Hueneme Submarine Canyon offshore towards Anacapa Island. Almost immediately, we were greeted by our local pod of coastal bottlenose dolphins. These coastal bottlenose dolphins are smaller in size compared to their offshore bottlenose counterparts, which we encountered once we ventured further offshore. We spent several minutes observing this rather large pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins as they interacted with the SUNFISH. Clear water and sunny skies gave us an excellent view of the 10+ foot long dolphins as they cruised just a few feet off our bow. They continued to surf along with us for quite some time as we picked up speed and continued offshore. The backside of Anacapa Island yielded an array of wildlife, including a very large number of Surf Scoter ducks which can only been seen in the area during winter months. Continuing up the island, we took the opportunity to maneuver close to shore to view the Sea Lion Rookery, where we encountered dozens of California Sea Lions of all ages hauled out on the beach. Several groups of small pups darted around in the water off our bow, occasionally pausing to inspect the SUNFISH. We observed a group of 3 Gray Whales traveling south as we reached the west end of the island. We traveled through the Anacapa Passage, observing another Gray Whale traveling south off Cavern Point as we reached Santa Cruz Island. As we pulled away towards home, clear skies provided us a pleasant sunset over a very green Santa Cruz Island, giving us a very picturesque conclusion to our trip.
-Capt. A. Legaspi