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A moderate swell and breeze with some interesting and uncommon humpback behaviors.

Image: A humpback throws its tail in the moderate breeze.

2023 6-19 SB Channel

The weather changed and it will be “different” this week. We found breezy conditions out in the Channel (calm winds in town), a west wind chop and westerly swell. Sea conditions hampered any westerly travel. Skies were sunny and it was quite warm on board. Today we closely watched: 1000 long-beaked common dolphins and 2 humpback whales.

On the way out…a southerly heading to the edge of The Lanes…we saw 10 dolphins. A very small pod, but wait.

In the southbound Lane there was a single adult whale that had long dive times and, bad luck for us, it was heading directly WEST. We started moving slowly northeast to avoid the wind and seas. The exceptionally clear water made the abundant surface anchovy schools visible again today…wonderful to watch. In the distance we saw a second whale that was breaching and slapping its tail in the wind. It also did a bit of what we call “trap feeding,” which starts with a tail throw (see today’s photo), and ends with the whale curling around quickly into the tail splash zone to gobble confused and wounded anchovies. This is a somewhat uncommon behavior and we’ve not recorded it for quite a while.

You never know what mother nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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