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Humpback breaching, mugging, kelping...we saw it all!

Image: a full-body breach with rotation near eastern Santa Cruz Island.

2023 11-10 SB Channel

It was a hazy, lazy summerlike day in our neck of the Channel. The sun was bright and the seas were mirror glass for at least half of the trip...after that: ripples. There was little to no swell. Captain Dave and the crew headed southeast and we had great sightings, including: 6 humpback whales, 2000 long-beaked common dolphins and 1 Minke whale.

We departed the harbor early, at 930a, to accomodate a large group of whale watchers from a visiting cruise ship. At 1010a we slowed to watch 3 or 4 surface intervals from a medium-sized Minke whale. We continued southeast.

Between 1115a and 1155a we followed 2 humpback whales. They showed their tails fairly often, but followed a regular dive pattern of 12 - 14 minutes down time during which they traveled a fair distance in some random direction. Dave had to keep on his toes.

Our first dolphin pod was small, about 150 members, around 1210am, but there was one highly amorous male that chased every female dolphin in the area only to face a tai-slap rejections. Gotta give the guy credit for trying.

A short time later we had a legit mega-pod with at least 1000 dolphins pass through. They rode our bow, side and stern wake.

Unbeknownst to us, an area with 4 humpbacks (2 and 2), would result in the most aerial and auditory action of the day. One of the closest two whales breached a few times (see today's photo). Both did some pec-slapping, tail throwing, upside down tail throwing, trumpet vocalizing and then....into a length kelping session they went. But wait! That's not all. Suddenly, the OTHER pair of humpbacks took an interest in the Condor Express and mugged the boat for over 1/2 hour. The crystal, blue water color made it possible to track these white-pectoral whales and enjoy full-body views during this episode.

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

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Nov 11, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Underwater viewing of a mugging Humpback offers another dimension of enjoyment!

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