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Humpback Fun

2015 10-07 SB Channel

Today we hosted a boat load of cruise ship whale lovers that hopped off one boat (a big one) and stepped directly onto the Condor Express. Both the weather and the sea conditions were superb and I think it was one of the nicest days we’ve had in a week or so. Captain Dave took the helm and steered a course for the last known sector of our previous whale sightings. Along the route two things happened before we found humpbacks.   First, we had a 6 or 7 foot hammerhead shark pass directly alongside the boat. Strangely, the fish appeared to be carrying a stipe of bull kelp in its mouth. Thanks to “ojos del águila” Auggie for spotting this animal. Second, Auggie also spotted two pods of long-beaked common dolphins with about 1,200 animals total.   Dave ran east for a while with these little cetaceans and everyone got to see the tiny calves in the pod.

Around 1220 Dave spotted our first of 7 humpback whales. This beast was accompanied by a mob of about 30 California sea lions that dove when it dove, and surfaced once or twice until the whale came up.   My unsubstantiated hypothesis is that the larger lung volume of the whale could out last the smaller lungs of the sea lions in a breath-holding contest.

About 20 minutes later ojos del águila found a region with 6 humpback whales and probably more in the area. Great looks were had by all. At one point two of the whales came right over to the starboard side of the Condor Express to take a look at their fan club. The water is still Santa Barbara cobalt and clear, so this encounter was even more magical.

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

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