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9 humpbacks and surface lunge-feeding today!

2018 09-01 SB Channel

Winds were light to non-existent in the Channel, and a residual long-period swell didn’t bother any of the mammals, on board the Condor Express or in the water.  Captain Dave and his crew located a great deal of action today that included close looks at 9 humpback whales, 500 California sea lions and 300 long-beaked common dolphins. It was clear, sunny and warm all day.

Two groups of whales were located about 1 mile from each other.  The action was centered, once again, off the western end of beautiful Santa Cruz Island and within the southbound commercial shipping lanes (aka, The Lanes).  The first group included 5 whales, and the second had 4.  Both groups were surrounded by 200 or more voracious and social California sea lions. The sea lions helped move the submerged anchovy bait balls to the surface, so we had great looks as both groups of whales did some surface lunge feeding.

After more than an hour watching the whales feed and witnessing the sea lions getting into the action, 2 additional whales were seen at a distance.  The Condor left the area but could not get close looks at the pair, so they are not included in today’s official count.  On the way home a large pod of dolphins located the boat, rode our bow, side and stern waves.  It was a great way to end the sightings on a wonderful day in the Santa Barbara Channel.

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

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