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Humpback Whales: They are Everywhere !!


A gorgeous sunny day and humpback whales are everywhere including close to Santa Barbara. photo: Bob Perry


Humpback Whales:  They are Everywhere!!

Wiley Captain Dave pointed the Condor Express southeast under warm, clear skies with a very slight tropical breeze.  The ocean water continues to be extremely clear and blue.  Not far from Santa Barbara Harbor Dave put us on an area with at least 2,000 long beaked common dolphins milling around and getting the surface water all roiled up.   Several dozen young California sea lions were mixed in with the #dolphins too, and, like the dolphins, spent a bunch of time coming over to the boat for a look at us.  To them it must have been a “human watching trip.”   Soon a single humpback whale came to the surface, then another and nearby all around there were more and more.  In this nearshore area we watched at least 8 or 10 humpback whales including a mother with a calf.  Several of the humpbacks had pure white pectoral fins which made them easy to spot by the bright blue glow under the clear water.  Several quick and slinky Minke whales were also seen in the area…by the lucky people.   After a while we headed south.

Crossing the Santa Barbara Channel was smooth, and the sky was slowly getting cloudy from the southeast.  Near Santa Cruz Island winds were southwest, but the ocean was not rough or bumpy.  We took an up close look inside the world famous Painted Cave which was, today, inhabited by kayakers with lights on their helmets so they could penetrate the deep, dark depths of this “longest sea cave in the world.”   Dozens of pigeon guillemots were flying in and out of the cave.   Not too far west of the Cave Captain Dave spotted a nearly vertical sea cliff that was populated by a large number of female and sub-adult male California sea lions.  Many of these agile and furry animals had scaled the cliffs and were warming themselves in the sunlight waaaaaay up high above the ocean.

Captain Dave’s good intentions being home to Santa Barbara on time soon dissipated when, not far off Santa Cruz Island, we came upon another mother humpback whale and her whitey-pects calf.   This calf was very curious and made several close approached to the Condor and even rolled on its back upside down to impress its fan club.  Mom was a very large, seemingly full grown humpback.  Not only did we watch whales close to Santa Barbara, and this nice cow-calf pair near Santa Cruz, but our Friend Dane called to tell us there were even more humpback whales up near El Capitan.  They are everywhere !

I’ll post the photos from today’s adventure sometime this weekend.

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

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