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Humpbacks mug the boat – and more !

2016 11-17 SB Channel

The light winds and swells calmed down completely as Captain Dave and his crew brought the Condor Express close to the sea cliffs of Santa Cruz Island. It was a sunny day with autumnal air temperatures.  Sightings for the excursion included 20 inshore bottlenose dolphins, 500+ California sea lions and 3 humpback whales.

Less than a mile out from Santa Barbara we encountered a relatively large group of coastal bottlenose dolphins near Leadbetter Beach. This relatively large pod was spread across about 100 yards of sporadic giant kelp forests.  There were numerous calves in the pod, and the whole group came over to take a look at the boat several times.

The Santa Barbara Channel crossing was pleasant, and near West Point, Santa Cruz Island, a mega-mob of California sea lions was located and we devoted some time looking at their antics and behaviors. A bit further to the east a second mob, equally large, was also viewed.

About this time our deckhand, “Ojos de águila” Auggie, located tall spouts not too far away.  As we arrived on the scene, three humpback whales were located.  There were two very large whales and one smaller one that we believe was our old buddy “Top Notch.”  The three whales were socializing, rolling around, showing their long pectoral fins and so forth as we slowly approached the general area.  This interaction spilled-over to the whale’s treatment of the Condor Express and they swam close and underneath our dual hulls giving everyone fantastic looks.  One of the two giants had bright white pectoral fins and pure white tail flukes and a black stripe down the center.  How does Auggie do it?

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

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