2019 05-01 SB Channel A single excursion left Santa Barbara Harbor at noon today and ventured out towards the middle of the Santa Barbara Channel. It was bright and sunny all day long with only a light breeze which served to make the spouts of all the whales more visible. Total sightings for the day included 5+ humpback whales, one Minke whale, and 15 long-beaked common dolphins.
The sightings started off right away with a fabulous look at a single Minke whale. There were numerous small hotspots of bait on the surface, and some were being attacked by pelicans, and others were being chased by a large predatory fish. Chances are the Minke whale was also taking advantage of these opportunities.
Not long after the Minke whale encounter, we found our first humpback whale of the trip. It was a juvenile and we located it southwest of the oil rigs. The little juvenile at one point stopped to do some mighty tail throws and quite a few lobtails. A second whale soon appeared but spent just a moment on the surface before showing it’s massive tail flukes and sliding into the blue. Get the final sighting was located southwest of Platform Habitat where we found three whales moving together. There were two large humpback whales and one juvenile. We had the feeling that one of the adults was the mom. One of the big whales threw its tail a couple times. But the little juvenile stole the show when it took off and breached twice right in front of the boat. During the sighting, very small group of dolphins came by and paid us a visit. They were looking good in the crystal blue water with the bright sun shining.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com