2021 05-06 SB Channel
We ran three 2½ hour public whale watching trips today. The stratus did not drop to become fog today, and skies remained gray with adequate lateral visibility on the ocean surface. Seas were calm and glassy. Captain Dave and his crew closely watched: 8+ humpback whales, 300 California sea lions and 20 long-beaked common dolphins. Anchovy bait balls were everywhere on the surface again today.
On the 9a trip we found a pair of juvenile whales about 5 miles south of the harbor. They were friendly and approached the Condor Express several times. About a mile east we watched an adult whale do some surface lunge feeding and tail throws. The juveniles eventually joined the adult to form a feeding trio.
The noon trip located 3 very active surface lunge feeding adults about 7 miles south of the harbor. We had some spectacular looks at the whales engulfing thousands of anchovies on each “bite.”
Finally, the 3p trip headed offshore to “humpbackland” but had to slow down as a small pod of dolphins located the boat. We watched them ride our bow, side and stern waves. Soon thereafter we found a whale trio that included a mother with her calf plus a second adult. Lots of surface feeding was observed from this group. The little calf got frisky, rolled around and threw its little tail, and made a bit of a fuss. I’m reminded of a scientific journal article a few years ago that indicated juvenile whales must throw their tails and perform aerial activities so as to build their oxygen-carrying myoglobin capacity for the future. We watched another adult and noted at least 4 additional whales in the area.
As a side note, Santa Barbara resident and world famous ocean explorer/environmentalist, Jean-Michel Cousteau was on board for the 9a and 12n excursions.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com