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Whale watching in the Santa Barbara Channel used to be a seasonal activity, but migration habits are changing and outings leaving from Sea Landing at the SB Harbor are a great way to see these amazing creatures. Marine life sightings are listed on the Condor Express' website, so you can easily check to see what animals are abundant when you're in town.
The catamaran is less disturbing to the marine mammals than was the older Condor, so whales and dolphins will approach the vessel. Volunteer docents for the Channel Islands National Park are often aboard to enrich the traveler's experience. Restrooms, hot and cold meals, indoor and outdoor seating, and a p/a system add to your comfort.
The boat's captain warns of rough water in advance, if possible, and will be frank about conditions. If you're prone to motion sickness, it's best to take medication before embarking.
The Santa Barbara Channel is home to 80,000 sealions and is visited annually by thousands of whales: California Grey Whales, Humpbacks, and Blue Whales among them. Common Dolphins are plentiful and meeting a "pod" of them is dellightful.
Some Condor Express cruises include short visits to the islands' shores, Painted Cave being a highlight. The islands' rocks are often occupied by harbor seals and sea lions. Pelicans and Western Gulls are commonly sighted.