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A mid-Channel hot spot with many humpbacks and dolphins; one whale mugged us!

Image: Whale fans enjoy a humpback whale that “mugs” the Condor Express

2023 6-18 SB Channel

Captain Devin and the crew took a trip out to nearly the exact middle of the Channel, half way between UCSB and the west end of Santa Cruz Island. Skies were overcast with a high marine layer all day, but seas were calm with little to no wind. Areas of good water clarity enhanced the viewing. Sightings included: 6 humpback whales, 2000 long-beaked common dolphins and 1 ocean sunfish (Mola mola).

On our way out to the mid-Channel whale and dolphin spot, we stopped to watch a very large adult ocean sunfish (Mola mola). Great looks were had and we continued southwest.

On the scene we closely watched 6 humpback whales surrounded by a couple thousand dolphins…all were feeding on the abundant surface northern anchovy schools. Most of the whales had long dive times, and on the surface seemed to be in a slow travel mode. The exception came when one adult whale came directly to the Condor Express and proceeded to mug us for 20 minutes…passing up and down, then back and forth, both sides of the boat. Several passes from one side to the other took place directly beneath our twin hulls.

You never know what mother nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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