2 gray whales, lots of dolphins and 2 highly animated humpback whales

2022 01-22 SB Channel

Strong Santa Ana winds to the east of us created some light bump on the water on this magnificent, sunny day. This is the “green time” for the islands and a joy to watch wildlife with such a glorious backdrop. Sightings today included: 2 humpback whales, 2 Pacific gray whales and 1500 long-beaked common dolphins.

Our first encounters were with 2 pods of dolphins separated by 12 or so miles of ocean. The first, smaller, group was just 3 ½ miles offshore, and the second was 2 miles off the west end of Santa Cruz Island. Both were great encounters with plenty of good looks and action.

Soon after the dolphin sighting, and still close to the west end, two east-bound spouts were seen and assumed, due to travel direction, they might be gray whales. Surprisingly, it turned out to be a pair of ridiculously active and friendly humpbacks. Each of the whales took turns breaching several times, did some simultaneous “double breaching,” lobbed tails, threw tails and slapped their pectoral flippers for over 30 minutes. They then went about traveling and foraging.

Captain Dave moved east and, near the mouth of Santa Cruz Channel, two more spouts were, indeed, gray whales. These were on a regular breathing cycle, easy to watch and we, again, had wonderful looks at these southbound migratory beasts.

A single deflated, Mylar, helium balloon was cleaned off the surface of the ocean today.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

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