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Humpback whale sets new Santa Barbara Channel record for pectoral fin slaps

A pectoral fin slammin’ humpback whale goes berserk.

A humpback whale set a new Santa Barbara Channel record for pectoral fin slaps today with 114 consecutive slams. In addition, extra “style points” had to be awarded for using both the right pectoral fin and the left pectoral fin. At several points in the episode one could see the humpback whale upside down with both pectorals in the air and the tail fluke exposed sideways too. With regards to what motivates a humpback whale to get cranking with these dramatic behaviors, Captain Dave pointed out a curious coincidence we all observed last week and today. One of the 7 or more humpback whales in the area (we closely watched 4) took off and breached about a half mile away from us. Last week this seemed to “trigger” the whale we had been watching to breach also. Today it seemed to stimulate the championship pectoral fin slapping episode which included one massive tail throw too. Who knows? More data needs to be collected out on the feeding grounds of the northeastern Santa Barbara Channel.

We had wonderful sea conditions with sunny skies and no fog at all today. There were a few surface “hot spots” of active feeding with dolphins, sea birds and sea lions, but a lot of the anchovy schools seemed to be subsurface and so was the humpback whale feeding. At least 5 Minke whales were also on patrol in the area, and we had dolphins, dolphins and more dolphins all day long….perhaps 1,000 total. I’ll post up the photos from today’s trip sometime later this week to

The Condor Express is not running any open public trips on Monday and Tuesday. The regular schedule will continue in effect Wednesday through Sunday.

Best regards Bob Perry Condor Express

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