2022 08-08 SB Channel – West
While sea conditions were amazing near Santa Barbara Harbor and environs, once offshore Platform Holly, wind and seas became moderately exciting. Loyal readers know that I like the wind and humpback combination, since my totally undocumented or peer-reviewed theory is that these whales get “stimulated” by the wind, and perform aerial behaviors more often. Somebody should collect data and write this up! Sightings today include 2 humpback whales (with many more in the area), 3000 long-beaked common dolphins and 500 California sea lions. The crew also retrieved a floating, detached, boat fender from the ocean surface.
We stopped to enjoy a mini-pod of dolphins on our way towards the NOAA East Channel Buoy. The pods grew larger as we approached the target area, and our first whale, a sub-adult, was in the mix. This animal had a speckled body coloration, was engaged in sub-surface feeding and surfaced a couple of times quite close to the Condor Express…getting some air into its lungs and satisfying its boat-curiosity at the same time?
Aiming towards multiple additional spouts in the far binocular range, a valid hot spot with a mega-pod of dolphins, lots of birds and sea l ions, yielded our second humpback. It, too, was a sub-adult creature. However, it was quite a bit more vocal and issued several trumpets.
Even more spouts in the distance, not so far away…but directly INTO the eye of the on-coming wind and seas, yielded more mega dolphin sightings and another nice session with humpback #1 that swam a considerable distance since our first encounter.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com