Large pods of long beaked common dolphins came to play in the clear blue water as we moved out to see the humpback whales today.
Dolphins and that Humpback Mother & Calf with White Pectorals
The NOAA forecast for moderate to heavy seas and winds did not materialize until we were back and entering Santa Barbara Harbor after the trip. It was sunny and gorgeous with air temperatures down a few degrees…lovely. All the way to the eastern Santa Barbara Channel there were pods of long beaked common dolphins. Some were large pods with several hundred animals. There were a few calves and a lot more hanky panky behavior than usual. The “calf-with-pectoral-fins-white-on-both-sides” and its mother were our star humpback whales. They had relocated overnight to a position almost 10 miles east of Hogan. Several people asked me where, what or who Hogan was. So here’s a photo:
Offshore oil and gas Platform Hogan is the easternmost of the 7 platforms that make up the Santa Barbara “rig line.”
Mother and calf humpback had short 5 – 6 minute down times and showed their flukes frequently. They moved around and really covered some ground while submerged, so Captain Dave had to be on his toes. Luckily second Captain Eric was with us today and was on the binoculars, in fact he first sighted the two beasts in the morning. Again the pure white pectoral fins of the calf were seen glowing brightly underwater and made it fairly easy to track the pair when they were moving along under the waves. Five or 6 Minke whales were in the area but were probably not widely viewed by our loyal whalewatchers.
I’ll post up the photos from today’s trip sometime tomorrow. As a reminder, tomorrow (Friday Nov. 19) we do not have an open whale watch due to a private charter. We’ll resume our normal schedule on Saturday.
Planning ahead? Mark your calendar and get your tickets now for our late Fall pelagic bird expedition. This is a 10-hour trip and departs SEA Landing at 7am sharp. The date is November 16.
Bob Perry Condor ExpressBiologist and Photographer
on the web: www.CondorExpress.com/blog