Image: two adult humpback whales lunge-feed simultaneously/cooperatively
2023 05-07 SB Coast
Two trips, 9a and 12n, left the dock today and marked the formal end of the coastal gray whale trips for this season. Starting tomorrow we will run 10a – 230p trips that cover the Channel in search of wildlife. We often visit the local islands when our target species are nearby. Sea conditions were ideal today with morning glass and afternoon ripples. It was sunny and blue all day. Sightings today included: 7 humpback whales, 100 long-beaked common dolphins and 50 California sea lions.
The morning sightings got off to a great start around 920am, just outside the harbor, where we encountered a pelican-dolphin-sea lion, fully active hot spot. Later, on our way west, we passed several small flocks of sooty shearwaters sitting on the surface. Late in the trip, near 11a, a mother humpback with her calf and another adult came into view off UCSB. Galley person Samantha located them. They were heading west, then abruptly turned 180° Surface times were good and great tail flukes were seen every dive. A brief look at a humpback that was doing some kelping was had as we left and headed home.
The afternoon trip continued to enjoy the great sea and weather conditions as we steered a course back to the humpbacks. Indeed Captain Devin did find the nice trio from the morning trip. Similar behaviors with nice tail flukes were seen. At one point the two adults did a completely unexpected and huge vertical lunge on some anchovies. Meanwhile, a pair of very young sea lions worked their audience on the Condor Express with antics and lots of praise.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com