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Humpback Blue Water Hot Spot

2015 10-22 SB Channel

There was a moderate breeze and light chop on the water, but not much of a swell and the sun shone brightly all day. Our Santa Barbara cobalt clear water persists. Captain Dave, along with Tasha and Steve, thrilled the whale-lovers on board the Condor Express with at least 11 total humpback whales and about 750 long-beaked common dolphins.

The sightings started around 1055am when we were about 9 or 10 miles south of Santa Barbara. Here Tasha had spotted two spouts and our first three humpback whales. These whales were heading east and had long down, short up, times. There were no birds around or California sea lions, so I suspect they were traveling and/or searching. One of the whales was “Top Notch,” and later in the day it became a very friendly as well as well-loved, whale.

Less than an hour later additional humpback spouts were located southeast of our initial sighting. This proved to be the first of two oceanic hot spots with all the shearwaters, gulls, terns, sea lions and, of course, whales, feeding close enough to the surface to keep every species interested.

Finally, after 12 noon, we found the second hot spot and this one produced at least 6 more humpback whales, one of which was the ever-loyal Top Notch. Now the whales were spending more time on the surface and several of them came quite close to the Condor as we idled in place.   Three or four humpback whales swam along the side of the boat and around the bow. But now we all saw one reason why Top Notch has its name (other than its notched dorsal fin). Topper swam up the starboard side from the stern past the bow while very close to the side of the boat. It then turned around abruptly and swam back down from whence it came originally.   All this was enhanced by that cobalt blue clear water. What a nice encounter ! What a day !

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

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