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Juvenile blue whale mug us again! Huge numbers of large baleen whales persist.

Image: A small juvenile blue whale calf mugged the boat and did a bit of upside down swimming to impress its fan club.

2024 06-13 SB Channel 

A high marine layer kept things gray until late in the afternoon when the sun broke out. Seas were calm and glassy. Once again Captain Dave and the crew visited the blue whale hotspot near the eastern end of Santa Cruz Island. Sightings for the day included: 18+ giant blue whales, 2 fin whales, and 1000 common dolphins.

We slowed to watch a medium-sized pod of common dolphins just before reaching The Lanes. Later, amidst the giant whale congregation, there would be another similarly sized pod that came through the area.

There is still a massive amount of subsurface krill that is causing an influx of the giant baleen whales. Today was similar to yesterday: we closely watched 18 giant blue whales with more to the east and the west.

Once again, a small juvenile blue whale came out of the adult feeding area to inspect the Condor Express. It mugged the boat for over an hour. We never did see the mother, as it was probably feeding with the others. Today the repertoire of the little calf was utterly amazing. It swam from one side to the other. It swam under the bow. And spent considerable time repeatedly putting its head/rostrum in our jet wash. Apparently facial spas are becoming a thing. The little whale also did a bit of swimming around upside down (See today’s photograph for an example. The gallery for that day is here: ) The calf also did a bit of spy hopping. Let’s hope the whale stays friendly after it grows up…every time it sees the Condor Express.

Two large fin whales were also seen today in the group. One of them made several friendly approaches to the boat.

Incidentally, the crew also retrieved one deflated, floating, Mylar balloon from the ocean surface.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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