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7 humpback whales including our friend Rope, and much more

2017 05-27 Eastern SB Channel

7 humpback whales including our friend Rope, 1 blue whale and over 1,000 long-beaked common dolphins were closely watched today.  Captain Dave and his crew found great weather and sea conditions once again in the Santa Barbara Channel and spent the day in the southeastern corridor.  What a fantastic day it was!

South of Henry, on the edge of The Flats, the crew spotted a huge hotspot.  Several hundred dolphins and countless hungry seabirds had the northern anchovies whipped-up into tight balls for easy feeding.  Soon, a pair of large humpback whales emerged in the midst…meaning the two vertically lunge-fed several times and anchovies went flying in all directions.  Nearby another pair was seen feeding.  Upon arrival and closer inspection these whales turned out to be a mother humpback (our friend Rope!) and her calf.  Rope has had several calves in the 15 years we have seen her in our neck of the Channel.  [For new readers, Rope was originally spotted breaching violently in her attempts to rid herself of entanglement in fishing gear.  This gear included polypropylene rope which was wrapped completely around her mid-section.  She freed herself but the circumferential scar remains to this day.  She was given the name “Rope.”]

Continuing east, another humpback mother and her calf were easily spotted as the calf was creating a big fuss.  It breached repeatedly, slapped its long pectoral fins, rolled upside down and slapped its chin.  Further east we had a very good look at a blue whale in semi-clear water and enjoyed the “glow from below.”

On the way home another single humpback was found and a mega-pod of at least 1,000 dolphins came to the Condor Express.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express

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