Loads of humpback and dolphin action.

2022 02-04 SB Channel

Once again Santa Ana winds blew from the east down around Ventura and sent waves up the Channel to bounce against the prevailing waves from the west. This made it moderately bumpy, but also cleared the skies and made for a bright and sunny day. Sightings included: 5 humpback whales and 400 long-beaked common dolphins.

Captain Dave and the crew attempted to reach the Santa Cruz Channel between the islands, which some affectionately call “the gap.” But given the confused seas and a wonderful stroke of luck, we never went further south than The Lanes. Our encounters here started with a pair of whales we’d seen breaching repeatedly as we approached. On scene, it was two adults and they continued with behaviors such as tail-throwing, rolling around slapping their long pectoral flippers.

While all this action was being closely watched, a single juvenile humpback swam by and so did a large pod of dolphins. We spent some time dolphin-watching before another pair of smaller whales caught our eye. These two did some lob-tailing as well as “head stands,” where only the posterior half of their body including their massive tail flukes stand straight up out of the water.

Towards the end of our time on this hot spot, a 334.8 x 45.8 m container cargo ship, Ever Lucid, deviated from its course to Oakland, CA to avoid our whales (and us). As the ship passed the Condor Express at a close, but safe, distance, one of the humpbacks let loose with a tremendous, high, spinning breach.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

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