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Humpback Whales – Gluttony rules the Channel

Surface lunge feeding Humpback Whale.

The every watchful and crafty Captain Mat thrilled all those on board the Condor Express today as he masterfully steered us into acres and acres of oceanic activity including humpback whales. The abundant anchovies were up on the surface and it seemed like the whole animal kingdom was there. Sooty shearwaters, a few pink footed shearwaters, brown pelicans, western gulls, Brandt’s cormorants, common dolphins, sea lions and, of course, the mighty humpback whales were all there to gorge themselves. We watched as whale after whale lunge-fed on the surface, gulping hundreds of gallons of water and perhaps thousands of anchovies in a massive gulp. Some humpback whales lunged straight up, some diagonal and some horizontal. But the net result was always the same: an immediate end to the feeding party in hot spot after hot spot as the smaller creatures were left with nothing but scraps. One whale, a few hundred yards astern of the Condor Express, breached completely out of the water. All this with spectacular sea conditions in the Santa Barbara Channel.

The final talley: 11 humpback whales with many more in the vicinity 3,000+ common dolphins

I’ll post up the photos from today’s spectacle sometime before noon on Saturday.

best Bob Perry Condor Express

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An epic cetacean-filled day.

2018 12-07 SB Channel Clear, sunny skies and calm seas prevailed once again in the beautiful Santa Barbara Channel. A massive feeding hotspot was located and resulted in close observations of 10+ hump


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