Friendly Minke Whale Goes Surfing & More !
Rumors of a single so-called “friendly” Minke whale in the Santa Barbara Channel have been circulating around the docks for months now just like the phantom sperm whale. Whereas Minke whales on the east coast and other environs are fun and friendly most of the time, our local resident Minke’s are all business and rarely pay any attention to their human fan club. The breach once in a while. Then lunge feed on the surface once in a while, but they rarely get close to boats. So on our trip to the east Channel today everyone was completely amazed when a lone Minke made a high speed bee-line to the Condor Express and immediately started to surf the wake behind the boat. This smallest-of-the-baleen-whales surfed for a while then raced up the port side and did a little bow riding. It actually approached us several times. Some of the crew believe this animal and others like the sound and jacuzzi action of our water jets (we have no propellers or rudders). Who knows? But it was a rare and exciting thing to see.
Also down east we had a close look at 25 or so Risso’s dolphins, which also seemed friendlier than usual. Perhaps it was the light rain that was falling from the subtropical monsoonal moisture being pulled into our region. We also watched 2 humpback whales, one to the east and the other near the Carp/Summerland line of offshore oil platforms. The oil rig whale was, you guessed it, our pal “Top Notch.” Of the two humpbacks TN was the most exciting as it has short down times and kicks up its flukes regularly. 1,500 or more common dolphins were around the boat at most geographic locations.
Tomorrow our public whale and wildlife adventure leaves the dock promptly at 1 pm and gets back around 530 pm.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob PerryCondor Express