Image: a vertical lunge-feeding humpback whale shows off its dripping wet baleen
2023 11-04 SB Channel
We were in the sun with blue skies all day, with Captain Dave and the crew actively dodging a few scatted fog banks. Seas were calm. We closely watched 15+ humpback whales, 200 California sea lions and 2000 long-beaked common dolphins.
Just 4 miles outbound from Santa Barbara Harbor we watched a large pod of dolphins and a single humpback whale. Dolphins would be seen in much smaller pods all day, except on the way home a second mega pod was observed.
A bit east of the first dolphin/whale encounter, we watched an additional 4 humpbacks. These were vertical lunge-feeding repeatedly on a ball of northern anchovies. In a nonchalance somewhat atypical of California sea lions groups, we watched a mob of at least 30 of these brown, furry mammals totally relaxed, pectoral flippers in the air, and thermoregulating on this sunny day….all within a few dozen feet of the surface lunging activities! (See today’s photo for a vertical lunging example).
We continued south, not quite reaching The Lanes, and found lots of dolphin/whale hot spots. One of the last spots had what we think was a mother-calf pair, the calf being pretty big.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store,
Bob Perry Condor Express, and