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A mirror glass day and an amazing humpback experience

(Above: A humpback whale kelping)

2022 12-22 SB Channel

Captain Devin and the crew found ideal, pristine ocean conditions in the Channel today. Skies had scattered high clouds and the sea surface wall mill pond flat glass all the way to Santa Cruz Island. It was as a classic day of whale watching where quality was emphasized over quantity. Sightings: 1 humpback whale (please keep reading).

On the southern edge of The Lanes near Chinese Harbor, we encountered a wonderful adult humpback whale and spent over 1 ½ hours enjoying its behaviors. Essentially, the whale did non-stop surface lunge feeding, mostly vertical, for around ½ hour. Then, the hungry beast caught a glimpse of a robust floating giant kelp paddy nearby and proceeded to spend the next ½ hour vigorously kelping. Most of this was done by the whale spy-hopping in the middle of the seaweed and coming up fully draped. It also moved slowly through the algae and let it slowly massage its entire back. Finally, it resumed lunge feeding and we had another ½ hour demonstration of its ability to consume thousands of northern anchovies with each gulp.

Post-whale, Devin took us on a tour of the north face of the eastern end of Santa Cruz Island including a spin around lovely Potato Harbor.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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