Gray Whales Play in the Surf !


FANTASTIC SIGHTING UP AT ELLWOOD AS FOUR GRAY WHALES (2 MOMS, 2 CALVES) TAKE A SURF BREAK FROM THE MIGRATION. THE WHALES WERE IN 5 OR 10 FEET OF WATER.


2015 04-23 SB Coast

We ran one trip today departing at 12 noon. Once outside, there were scattered windrows of transparent, dead Purple Sailor jellies (Velella velella) to the west of Santa Barbara Harbor today, and only a few random non-windrow blue and live ones. Such may be the life cycle of Velella velella. The long-beaked common dolphins and gray whales were in much better shape than Velella. Off the Lighthouse we encountered 50 or so #dolphins and had a nice play session with them before proceeding westward. Further up the coast near Ellwood we found 6 gray whales traveling together, three mothers and their calves. At one point, near the Ellwood refinery beach, 4 of the gray #whales made a bee-line to the surf and we watched them ride waves, roll around, show their pectoral and tail flukes and more rarely, lift their heads, in water that must have been less than 10 feet deep. There were plenty of bubble blasts and in the photos you can see sand plumes being kicked up all around the whales. The calves seemed to be the most bold in their penetration of the breakers. It was well worth the trip to the west, that’s for sure. What a show!

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

I’ll post up the photos sometime this weekend. Thanks.

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