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Eighteen large baleen whales and more

2016 11-05 SB Channel

Captain Dave reported the following sightings of 18 baleen whales and more on today’s excursion into the Santa Barbara Channel:   5 Blue whales (more in the area), 13 humpback whales (more in the area), and a mega mob of around 300 California sea lions.  It has been a wonderful fall blue whale season and now it appears the humpbacks are stopping by the Channel for a while on their way to southern breeding and calving areas.

South of The Lanes the first 2 blue whales were encountered as they were logging on the surface. After a time spent logging the sunk for a few minutes only to return and continue logging.  A single shy humpback whale was also in the same area.

Running west from the first whales, it was not too long before additional tall spouts from three more blues came into view. There were 2 very large, and one small blue whale here.  They were not logging but followed a more typical dive and surface pattern.

Closer to Santa Cruz Island, two pairs of humpback whales were located and one of them spent a while kelping. This region also featured a mega-mob of around 300 California sea lions which came close to the boat at one point.  Three additional humpbacks popped up to join the fun and one of them was our old pal “Scarlet.”

On the way back home, on the north side of The Lanes, a single humpback was found lob-tailing and racing around. This whale did something else quite unique.  It swam forward using its pectoral fins while it held its tail up out of the water.  It only lasted a shore while but was astonishing to witness.  Soon 3 more humpbacks showed up and these were friendly.  The seemed to run directly at the Condor Express then stopped within a few feet.  Another trio of humpback whales soon showed up and there were many more spouts of blues and humpbacks within binocular range.

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

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