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4 marine mammal species and outstanding action!

2022 05-21 SB Channel

The early morning stratus cleared as we left the harbor. Wind and sea conditions were great for today’s whale watch. Closely watched species included: 50 short-beaked common dolphins, 40 California sea lions, 7 humpback whales and 130 offshore bottlenose dolphins.

Near the East Santa Barbara NOAA buoy a small group of about 50 actively feeding common dolphins located the Condor Express. Sea lions and sea birds were also feeding in this miniature hot spot. We absorbed the action for about 15 minutes and then continued southwest.

The middle of The Lanes was a humpback whale honey hole today. We watched a single, then another. Both were adults. ½ mile later we found 3 more, a mother with her calf and a large female. This group was very social and vocal. The calf was boat-friendly as well. Among the group behaviors were rolling around, laying upside down with both pectoral fins in the air, trumpet vocalizations and all with very close proximity to one another. The little calf imitated a seal, kinda, by lifting its head and its tail at the same time which looked like an arch or a yoga pose. Very curious! Two more humpback whales passed through towards the end of the sighting, AND a small pod of around 30 offshore bottlenose dolphins also did a swim-by.

Captain Dave took everyone on a short, narrated tour of the world-famous Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island before turning to a homeward course heading. About 4 miles from the harbor, we found ourselves surrounded by another 100 or so offshore bottlenose dolphins. They were acrobatic and very aerial today. This herd also had a substantial number of calves.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry Condor Express, and

CondorExpressPhotos.com

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