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Humpback Whales in Big Waves and Wind

2015 09-29 SB Channel

Humpback Whales in Big Waves and Wind

As a young southern California surfer, back in the day, we used to have an expression for describing a windy day with rough seas:   it was “Victory at Sea.” This was the title of an old TV show that featured the naval battles of WWII, and the opening title footage showed battleships in heavy seas. Well it wasn’t quite that bad today, and we were not battling anybody. Our passage through the northern Santa Barbara Channel had no wind at all. But as we were heading to “The Ledge,” north of Santa Rosa Island, where we had good sightings on yesterday’s excursion, the winds filled-in and created a lot of excitement.

Captain Dave carefully steered the Condor Express through the wind and swells and kept the trip very safe and as calm as possible. He also managed to put us smack-dab in the middle of a submerged hot spot that featured 10 large adult humpback whales which dove together and spent quality time among the waves on the surface together. Additional spouts were seen a mile or two north of our location. At least 500 long-beaked common dolphins worked the spot as did numerous California sea lions and thousands of shearwaters.

I have mentioned many times in these reports about how invigorating and dramatic it is to see these humpback whales in big waves and wind.   Today we had multiple whales, as many as six at a time, on the surface busting through the on-coming swells with the strong breeze sending their spout spray flying. The sea surface temperature is still a warm 71.2°F so as long as you held on to a railing, as Captain Dave reminded us all several times, the experience was fantastic.

It is supposed to calm down a bit on Wednesday and Thursday.

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

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