Image: A mighty humpback whale tail throw!
2023 05-22 SB Channel
Glassy seas. Overcast all day. No wind. Captain Devin and his crew stayed within 5 or 6 miles of the mainland today, from Goleta Pier to the harbor. Sightings included: 5 Minke whales, 5000 long-beaked common dolphins, and 10 humpback whales. Nine deadly floating Mylar balloons were removed from the ocean surface by the crew today: a bunch of three and a cluster of nine.
Devin had just come up to speed when, just 1 mile out from the harbor, we watched our first 3 humpbacks. Some nice close approaches by the whales were seen by all.
Perhaps 2 ½ miles further southwest brought us into our first, and largest, megapod of 2000 dolphins. A pair of humpbacks was mixed in, and moved around the pod, spending most of their time diving. Nearby a humpback cow-calf pair was watched.
Moving just 2 miles further (southwest) we found another megapod (1000) and a single humpback with it. Turning a bit more to the west, deckhand Eddie spotted a single Minke whale that we slowly approached. The Minke then breached about 4 times and did a chin slap. A second friendly Minke whale was in the vicinity. Just ¼ mile away we found another humpback.
West of the Minkes just 1 mile we had some very close and friendly encounters with a second humpback cow-calf pair. They kept us company and swam closely alongside. At this point, Captain Devin turned south and brought us 2 ½ miles further offshore, at the southern most peak of our route today. 1000 additional dolphins were watched here.
On our way home a third cow-calf humpback duo was actively tail-throwing (both whales). Awesome to see! Meanwhile, our last cetacean record for the trip was an adult humpback in the area that was also throwing its tail AND slapping its pectoral flippers.
You never know what mother nature has in store.
Condor Express, and