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First gray whales (2), blue whales (2+), humpback whales (16+), bald eagle (1)

Tah-dah! Announcing the official opening of Gray Whale season on the Condor Express today!

Our first gray whales of the 2015 season !

Another epic adventure on the Condor Express today.  Captain Dave took us through some dense coastal fog for a few miles and then things opened up and were sunny, calm and clear all day long.  The humpback whales were in the usual place – same as Wednesday’s trip.   Again we saw many more spouts than we could get set up on and watch, and we did watch 16 humpbacks closely….a bunch before our Painted Cave visit, and a bunch more after.  The whales spotted leaving the Cave began with an unpredicted, unexpected and therefore (whine whine whine) I did not photograph, a giant double breach with two beasts side by side a few hundred yards west of the boat.   However, (the good news) one of the breachers kept it up for another 4 or 5 leaps and I DID get shots of those.   Sometimes the best images are go directly from eyes to brain.    Out in the wild region of humpback whale land we closely watched two giant blue whales, but we did see at least one (possibly two) more blue whales in the bino’s.   There were spouts everywhere today.  Oh, I almost forgot, as we backed out of the Painted Cave a sharp eyed passenger called out “bald eagle” and it flew almost directly overhead in the sun…a magnificent and majestic sight.

Having not seen a single dolphin (strange as it seems), Dave headed towards UCSB to run along the bottom contour lines and try to get looks and some potential long-beaked common dolphins.   No luck with the dolphins.   But in the same area our sharp-eyed 2nd Captain, Eric, did spot our first two southbound migrating gray whales of the season !    A bit early, but we’ll take ’em.   I have been shooting off the Condor Express for just about 9 years now and I’ve never seen blues, grays and humpbacks all on the same trip.   What a day!

I’ll post up the photos sometime on Sunday.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express Biologist, Photographer, Spiritual Adviser and Pretzel bagger

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