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Blue whales show tails

2016 07-01 SB Channel

Blue Whales. Humpback Whales.

The low overhanging cloud layer burned off early and the rest of the day was bright and sunny.  A light breeze from the west created a light chop in the morning, but died out after noon.  Captain Dave and his deckhand (and second Captain, Eric) got us on a small cluster of around 100 long-beaked common dolphins which we watched for about 15 minutes.  We were only a mile off Leadbetter Beach at the time.  We pressed onward on a southerly course heading.

From 1115am to 1215pm we enjoyed watching 5 humpback whales closely (with many more in the surrounding waters)  as they followed the moveable hot spot feast populated by at least 1,000 long-beaked common dolphins and their aerial amigos (birds).  Once or twice the hot spot was of sufficient density and shallowness to elicit lunge-feeding from the humpback whales.  Mostly the bait was down a bit so the lunging was out of sight.  We were a bit north of The Lanes for all this action, before continuing south.

Approximately 30 minutes later we were a few miles north of Santa Cruz Island when Dave located at least 3 giant blue whales. We got set-up and closely watched only one.  It was a reliable blue whale with relatively short down times and regularly fluked-up. The was the blue whale we have been seeing and photographing with the little notch on its right tail fluke.  The rest of the blue whales and some humpbacks remained on the outskirts and we did not  have time to look at every single whale.  I was time to head home.

On the way home, about 5 miles north of The Lanes and found a large hot spot with six more humpback whales (more in the distance, of course) and at least 500 additional dolphins.

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

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