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Among 10 humpbacks we saw one “aerial ambassador”

2020 10-17 SB Channel

All the action was in the middle of the Channel, north of The Lanes and around the Santa Cruz Island midriff. Seas were moderately calm and skies had a hazy warm sun, in the north Channel. Once we transited The Lanes and moved a bit south we hit a breeze that sent up some spray. Needless to say, we did not spend much time near the island today. Sightings were fabulous: 10 humpback whales and 2000 long-beaked common dolphins.

As we experienced during yesterday’s cruise, there were massive amounts of dolphins everywhere and when they located a surface bait aggregation the humpbacks whales and sea birds joined the banquet.

The whales were in found as solitary individuals, pairs and small groups. Coincidentally, most of the whales were small, juveniles today. This usually spells aerial action, since recent research has shown such activity to be a required component of humpback growth. It fosters a high production of myoglobin, an oxygen-binding molecule that nourishes the whales during prolonged dives.

One whale breached about 200 yards from the Condor Express. Luckily most people happened to be on that side of the boat and caught the action…the kind of visual image that tends to stay with a person.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

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