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Lob tailing, breaching, high flying, tail walking and more.

(Above: a lob-tailing humpback whale)

2022 11-23 SB Channel

Blue skies and hardly a breath of wind made whale spotting easier today for Captain Dave and the crew of the Condor Express. Sighting included: 9 humpback whales, 50 long-beaked common dolphins and 500 short-beaked common dolphins.

Dave charted a course for Santa Cruz Island. When we were still north of The Lanes, a lob-tailing whale led us to a pair of humpbacks, then a trio. The lob-tailing episode transitioned to tail-sweeps, and lots of fun to watch. The trio is suspected of being a female, a large “calf,” and a third whale…an adult, perhaps an escort. The threesome made several close passes.

Moving south of The Lanes, we found both species of common dolphin. We watched a small, spread-out group of long beaks. About 1 ½ miles away, we watched a much larger and highly animated pod of short beaks. The short-beaks were quite aerial with high-flying leaps, tail-walking, and lots of it. On the edge of this activity, we found another pair of whales. One of them took off for at least 4 monster breaches. Spectacular!

As we started our trip back to the harbor, another pair of whales was encountered.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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