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Five mother gray whales with calves.

Image: Gray whale mother and her calf near Santa Barbara.

2023 04-13 SB Coast

The high stratus of the early morning quickly burned off to sunny, blue skies. We hugged the coast today and seas were calm. Totals for the day: 10 gray whales, with 2 trips.

All of the sightings today were gray whale cow-calf pairs. On the morning trip our first whale pair was picked up off the Lighthouse and we followed slowly to Goleta Bay. On the way back to the harbor another pair was watched near Leadbetter, but was shy and used evasive inshore/offshore swimming.

At noon we ran all the way up past UCSB to Ellwood where we followed 3 pairs of whales. Four whales stayed on course and we tagged along to near Naples, while the other pair swam more slowly behind. During this encounter we saw calves rolling around near Mom several times.

Side note: All the boats and several shore people are reporting Velella velella, the purple-sailor, floating in the local waters.

You never know what mother nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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