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7 nice gray whales; 6 had tails

Image: Gray whale tail flukes

2023 03-15 SB Coast

Two trips left the docks, 9a and 3p. The morning trip was a sold-out private charter full of Cruise ship whale lovers. Skies were overcast with patches of light rain all day. There was a moderate bump on the water and the winds kicked up around 10am. Sightings were very good: 7 Pacific gray whales.

The morning charter watched 3 adult whales just 4 miles outside the harbor. Good tail flukes were seen and the whales were quite regular in their diving habits. Two more whales were spotted just a few hundred yards outside the threesome, but we did not follow them closely and stayed with the original, cooperative whales.

The windy afternoon trip quickly located a solo, southbound whale off Hendry’s Beach. We had a quick look and it disappeared. Later, off Goleta Bay, we encountered a small gray whale that had no tail flukes. Using its bare peduncle it miraculously kept up a 3 kt pace on its northbound migration. Interestingly, this individual “fluked-up” on every dive, though it had no flukes to show. The need to attain depth was fulfilled even with a severe handicap.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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