Whales can be seen year round
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The Santa Barbara Channel is home to many species of marine mammals. In fact, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History has documented more than 30 species of cetaceans, or whales and dolphins, in the Santa Barbara Channel.
Pacific Gray Whales: Every year an estimated 28,000 Pacific Gray Whales will journey through the channel on their migration between Alaska and Baja California. On their way south, they pass along the Channel Islands, about 25 miles off our coast. Beginning in mid-February, as they make their way north again, the mothers and calves stay close to the Santa Barbara coastline, coming within a few hundred yards from shore. Join us for the experience of a lifetime as we journey alongside these magnificent animals on a 2½-hour whale watching excursion mid-February through mid-May.
Often on these trips we see Common Rissos and Bottlenose Dolphins, California Sea Lions and Harbor Seals. Occasionally, we are lucky enough to view Orcas, Humpback, Minke, and Pilot Whales.
From July through September, the Blue and Humpback Whales visit the area to feed on the krill produced in the Santa Barbara Channel. In recent years, the largest concentration of Blue Whales in the world has been in our channel, in addition to large numbers of Humpback Whales, which are usually seen off the coast of Hawaii.