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Eight humpbacks and some great behaviors including a MUGGING

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

Image: a pair of humpback whales cruise by to take a friendly look at the Condor Express.

2023 11-09 SB Channel

Once again, local seamanship and knowledge prevails! NOAA weather hoisted a full Gale Warning for our area of the coast. But knowing this was to be a Santa Ana event, the strong NE and E winds would blow out to sea from Santa Monica to Ventura. Thus, our trip today was beautiful. We experienced glassy sea conditions, a small westerly bump, sunny skies and crystal water clarity. Sightings included 8+ humpback whales and 1000 long-beaked common dolphins. The crew did not retrieve any Mylar balloons today, but instead, found a size 9 white tennis shoe in great condition floating mid-channel and being pecked-at by a Western gull.

At 1115am we came upon a pair of whales which, at a fair distance, were observed rolling around, airing out their long pectoral flippers, sideways swimming and spy-hopping. Conclusion: an active socialization event! There was even one incident of tail fluke waving (no throw, no slap, no dive, just a big ol' wave).

Several other humpbacks had long dive times and moved around a bit while submerged.

At 1240pm we were watching a single adult humpback when it decided to mug the Condor Express. It was an equal opportunity whale, working its fans on both port and starboard sides with a cameo visit to those on the bow. The aforementioned water clarity greatly contributed to this fabulous sighting.

Dolphins were around in small numbers except for one pod that was distributed widely for a half mile.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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12 nov 2023
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Great day in the channel! The "mugging" was the highlight.

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10 nov 2023
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The extended contact with the friendly Humpback Whale was one of the best! The transparency of the clear water afforded a great view of the whale and its long pectoral flippers as it circled and swam underneath the boat,slowly rising to blow. Its close proximity provided an accurate guage of its relative size and bulk (55 feet and 90,000 pounds).

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