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A Pair of Gray Whales “Socialize”

2016 02-21 SB Channel

A pair of gray whales “socialize” for almost an hour.

Captain Eric was at the helm of the Condor Express as we ran two highly successful excursions out of Santa Barbara Harbor today. It was a tiny bit breezy for a while on the morning trip, then the winds died down and it was very calm and warm. Later in the afternoon the breeze started up again as we headed back into the harbor. Although it was sunny and warm all day wherever we traveled, there was a fog bank outside that shifted around in the distance. Here are the trip specifics:

9am Not far out from the sea lion filled buoys we came across our first of 7 total gray whales for this morning adventure.   It was alone, small and heading southbound (east in the Channel). It’s dives were on the long side so we left and moved a bit further offshore where a single humpback whale was located. The humpback was to be our only one of the day, and it showed its flukes nicely, but like the earlier gray whale, it, too, had long down times. A second gray whale moved through the area heading northbound.

Around 1025am we found a pair of gray whales moving north together and they came close to the Condor Express on several occasions. On our way back to the harbor we found a trio of additional gray whales and around 50 long-beaked common dolphins.

12noon Not too far offshore there was a small scattered pod of about 25 long-beaked common dolphins, perhaps a nursery pod.   There were many cows with their little calves scooting all around. Nearby we found the first 2 of a total of 4 gray whales found on this trip. They headed west towards Alaskan waters. As we moved west the first 2 grays picked up their pace and left us in their wake on one or two cycles, but close behind us we found the next pair coming our way.   As we started to watch this second pair of gray whales the fun began. As this is a family blog, let’s just say that it looked to all of us like there may have been one adult male and one adult female they did about 45 minutes of “socializing.” There was some rolling around, upside down swimming, one whale on top of the other, and most definitely the two were inseparable for the whole time. They did the dance and we got invited to watch.   It was gentle and sweet.

On the way home Eric to a coastal scenic tour from Summerland back the Harbor. We looked for that big male Stellar sea lion in the East Beach anchorage, but had no luck.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express

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