Wounds on the tail stock of “Lucky” the disentangle humpback whale seem to be healing after almost 2 months. Captain Dave was part of the trained rescue volunteers who helped free this whale in June.
Loads of Humpbacks including “Lucky” the Rescued Whale !
All of the action was along the coast in the north Santa Barbara Channel and we never went more than a few miles offshore. Common #dolphins were with us all day and the total numbers were inestimable, easily 5,000 or more. The seas had a light to moderate chop and the wind was causing whitecaps to just show. The dolphins ran up swell and down swell, surfed the bow and stern of the Condor Express, leaped and chased each other all around in the bright sunlight. The show never stopped. Many of the more dense concentrations of common dolphins were also areas of black vented shearwater masses with a few cormorants, western gulls and elegant terns too. Not far outside the Harbor entrance there was a Minke whale that swam in a straight line westward and came up to spout fairly regularly…looks were not bad.
The humpback whales were another story. We watched 3 closely and there was at least one more nearby. The first one was our new friend “Top Notch,” and TN was around most of the trip with its signature short down times and frequent tail flukes. The second whale was a dark whale with a completely black tail and it had longer down times plus it had a habit of covering a vast territory on one breath. Finally, the most exciting whale of the day was “Lucky” the humpback whale that was entangled in spot prawn fishing gear near Santa Cruz Island, and was rescued by a local Santa Barbara team (including our own Captain Dave) in early June. We saw this whale after it was set free once before (see this gallery of photos https://www.condorexpressphotos.com/2014/2014-07-03-SB-Channel/ ), and today is the second time the freed whale has been spotted. At first glance, it looks like many of the wounds are starting to heal now. After a few breathing cycles it made another deep dive and then, when nobody expected, Luck got airborne with a full body breach. I’d say it must be feeling better now.
I’ll post up today’s photos sometime tomorrow.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express