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12 humpbacks and MUGGED by one. A giant BLUE WHALE kicks-up its tail.

Image: a giant blue whale’s tail from today’s adventure


2024 05-30 SB Channel


Skies were overcast and gray until we crossed The Lanes. After that, there were sunny patches and it warmed us up.  Seas were glassy most of the day, then tiny ripples. Sightings were phenomenal: 200 common dolphins, 1 fin whale, 12 humpback whales and 1 giant blue whale.


About ½ hour outbound from the harbor, a medium-sized pod of dolphins was spread out over 2 miles and moving west parallel to the beach. None showed any interest in the boat.


One hour out we watched a pair of adult humpback whales. The pair was watched for 20 minutes as they logged/slept on the mirror glass surface. Although they took turns dunking just beneath the surface for a minute, no deep divers occurred as we watched them. It was very dreamy.


A few miles south of our first humpback pair a single fin whale was seen in the distance. It sounded, we waited 19 minutes, and never saw this whale again. Many people did not see it at all.


Around 1220pm, south of The Lanes, and adjacent to the West End of Santa Cruz Island, we watched 4 humpback whales. There was a cow-calf pair and two additional individuals. One of the individuals was very large and almost immediately took an interest in the Condor Express. We were severely mugged for 45 minutes as the beast moved from one side to the other to greet its fan club. Eau de hump often wafted across the decks.


Breaching in the near distance called our attention to another pair of humpbacks. But soon we were on our way to investigate a tall spout in the distance (another humpback swam by us). The tall spout belonged to a giant blue whale. As we got closer, the whale sounded and kicked up its tail flukes (see today’s photo). The dives were about 4 minutes long, and on two more occasions it fluked up.


On the way home we passed by 3 more humpbacks but did not have time to stop.


You never know what Mother Nature has in store.


Bob Perry

Condor Express, and


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