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Late summer blue whales in the Santa Barbara Channel

2017 08-19 SB Channel

In the late summer blue whales often migrate back to the Santa Barbara Channel from other feeding locations north and west of here. Perhaps that is what is happening now. Captain Dave and his crew covered the middle and eastern regions of the Channel with sunny skies and calm seas. The water is still clear and blue. Totals for animals closely watched include: 3 blue whales, 4 humpback whales and over 2,000 long-beaked common dolphins.

The first encounter of the day was in the region around the mid-Channel NOAA buoy, as it has been the past few days. Hundreds of dolphins and a single humpback whale were watched here.

Moving the boat southeast of the buoy, the second hot spot included 3 more humpback whales in The Lanes, mixed with hundreds more dolphins. The show-stopper was a mother giant blue whale and her very inquisitive calf. The pair came to the boat together and stayed very close for its fans. After a short 8-minute feeding dive, the calf returned to the boat where it rolled around, passed back and forth under the hulls, and was very friendly. It was soon joined by its mother who was not shy either. The crystal clear Santa Barbara cobalt blue water greatly enhanced this viewing.

On the way back to Santa Barbara harbor another blue whale was sighted.

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

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