2021 09-18 SB Channel
Calm seas prevailed throughout the excursion today. The morning stratus broke to sunny skies about 1 hour outside the harbor. Sightings today were not only good, they were special: 5 humpback whales, 2000 long-beaked common dolphins, 5 killer whales and zero live sea lions.
Dolphins were spread out in small pods all day, even in the feeding hot spots. The first batch found us just 4 miles out from the harbor in an area that also produced 2 single juvenile humpbacks Sea birds were abundant here.
Moving south, 3 additional single humpbacks were watched. All of the humpbacks were feeding subsurface individually and might be seen in close proximity to one another only by chance and then temporarily. More dolphins and birds were seen here, too.
Captain Dave was heading for a possible tour of Santa Cruz Island and the Painted Cave when, just south of The Lanes when plans changed abruptly. 5 killer whales were sighted, including one adult male. Photo identification has recognized this group as part of the CA 138 matriline. We spent a considerable amount of time watching these magnificent whales as they came to the boat, swam under us, then moved out a hundred yards only to repeat this friendly behavior cycle. Many of the orcas had chunks of unidentified flesh in their mouths, perhaps from subsurface feeding. During this episode, the group socialized by rolling around, vocalizing, spy hopping and “head standing” (with tail straight up out of the water). It was a wonderful encounter.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com
MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
After having such wonderful sights further offshore (we were several miles south of San Miguel Island at one point) on our special 8-hour whale watch last month, Captain Dave is going to do it again! We’ll have plenty to time to explore every nook and cranny known to cetaceans and look for pelagic birds along the way.
Make your reservations now: Saturday, September 25 – 8am to 4pm
phone: 888-77WHALE or 805-882-0088
My report from the August trip is here:
All day trip with killer whales etc etc