Friendly Humpback Whale
2016 05-25 SB Channel
The weather and sea conditions today were similar to yesterday with a light to moderate breeze but no swell whatsoever. Skies were sunny and you could see from Boney Ridge to Conception and Arch Rock to Carrington. The region is full of humpback whales all of which are out foraging alone with no surface feeding or signs of bait on the surface. Here’s how it went down:
Right outside the breakwater Captain Dave spotted a handful of inshore bottlenose dolphins and they were friendly to the Condor Express and to a woman SUP’er nearby. We moved up the coast at an angle so we ended up on the 50 fathom line off Gaviota when Dave made a U-turn to follow the 50 east. This put the breeze astern and left us looking down the backs of the chop for a better view of spouts. Around 1120 am we started our encounter with a second species of dolphin. Nearly 200 long-beaked common dolphins, broken into groups of 20 – 30 individuals, were all around. This would turn out to be the first of many groups we’d see today, all of which were friendly. It also must be Santa Barbara Channel Dolphin Mating day, as these shameless cetaceans were active everywhere we went. As a side note, I did watch a single upside down male dolphin that tried to mate with three different right-side-up females in a row. He was met with a resounding tail slap by each with no apparent harm to its self-esteem.
Right after our first common dolphin encounter we spotted our first two humpback whales. Each was moving along to the east with no apparent interest in each other. We saw lots of nice tail flukes, and tagged along for almost an hour until we encountered three more solo humpback whales. Our whale watching took us down east almost to Habitat. One friendly humpback whale surfaced right next to the bow of the Condor Express.
On the way home we paid a visit to the sea lion mob that has over-taken an abandoned sailboat in the East Beach Anchorage.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express