Friday morning September 24th crossing to Pelican’s will be remembered for humpback whale sightings about six miles from Santa Cruz Island. After a foggy motor sail, some blue sky was peaking through, while the autopilot allowed captain Scott Burns and our first-time to the Channel Islands guest, Matina, to doze. Lisa, keeping watch from the captain’s chair, spotted a whale off the bow about 200 yards. Quickly calling attention, all eyes were searching the horizon for it. Scott said, “Let me get my camera.” We were looking around, wondering where the whale would emerge again. Just about that time we heard a ‘flushing’ noise and the sailboat rocked, then the giant whale shot up at about 100 feet off the Benchmark’s beam. The size was magnificent and astonishing as it slightly turned in the air to show its light grey underbelly, then a giant splash! Scott didn’t get the photo, but we agreed that it reminded us of the insurance commercial logo. It seemed very big and was very close to our boat.
We anchored at Pelican’s Harbor, timed nicely with Ecco Bella’s arrival. There were eight boats by that evening. Lisa & Matina kayaked to Lisa’s favorite spot of “Hole in the Wall,” where the high tide created a blow hole spraying out water like a blast furnace.
The next morning Peggy, Scott, Lisa & Matina hiked from Pelican’s to Prisoner’s Harbor where we saw some of the old ranch buildings. A shared ride for Lisa with owners of cruiser Whale Rider from PCYC & Ventura Power Squadron, allowed another 1 ½ hour hike back for the other three. Saturday
night, Ecco Bella hosted an epic 12 game Mexican Train. Even with the weekend’s low clouds, it was a calm and relaxing trip with dolphins escorting us most of the way home.