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Harbor gray whale! A great pair of humpbacks!

2022 03-30 SB Coast

There were two excursions today, a 9a and a 12n. At 9a the skies were overcast, there were moderate winds and seas. The sun took over mid-way through the morning trip, and by the time we departed Santa Barbara Landing a noon, seas had flattened a bit and there was no wind. For the day there were 4 humpback whales and 2 gray whales sighted.

The so called “harbor” gray whale is still active inside the mouth of Santa Barbara Harbor. Both incoming and outgoing vessels must slow, stop or deviate from their course to avoid it. Kayakers surrounded the animal at 9a. The whale is small, perhaps a sub-adult or late juvenile, and has a distinctive white patch of skin directly behind its blowhole. You can see all this in the photograph I’ve attached. We had two sightings of this animal, first as we returned from our morning adventure, then again as we departed the harbor for the noon excursion.

The four sightings of humpback whales consisted of the same pair being watched closely on each trip. During the late middle of the 9a trip, Captain Dave spotted the pair, got located nearby, and had great looks. Then, at the start of the noon excursion, we ran back out and had another nice visit with the pair. Both were adults, and both stayed together during both encounters. These were wonderful flukers, and it was easy to tell them apart as one had a pure white tail with a small black margin all the way around. The second had a dark tail with a large area of white patches on each fluke.

By the way, the pure white-tailed animal is known to us, and is named “Snowflake.” It was first recorded in July 2017, and is a male. It’s designation by Cascadia Research is CRC-16533, and on HW-MN0500973.

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

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