2021 04-30 SB CHANNEL
Three 2 ½ hour trips explored our coastline and searched for marine mammals today under sunny skies with very little wind. A small surface bump left over from winds last night persisted until the afternoon trip when things were totally calm all the way around. Sightings today included 6 gray whales (all mom-calf pairs), 3 humpback whales, 1 Minke whale and 600 California sea lions.
The northern anchovy bait balls returned to our surface waters today after a short, one day lay-off. This brought the noisy and voracious seabirds as well as hundreds of sea lions, particularly on the 12n and 3p excursions.
On the morning run we followed a wonderful gray whale mom with her calf from Leadbetter up to More Mesa. From there we explored a few miles offshore and ended up west of the Carpinteria oil rigs with a solid Minke whale sighting. (Minke’s also feed on the northern anchovies).
All 3 humpbacks were watched on the 12n trip. About 4 miles south of the harbor we found 1 juvenile, then, close by, 1 adult. The two joined up then almost immediately went their separate ways. One went east, the other went west. Both were feeding sub-surface and the sea lion mobs were around them.
We headed west, up the coast to start the afternoon adventure. Near Hendry’s Beach we found 2 mom/calf gray whale pairs. Not long after we arrived and began watching from a respectful distance, the lead pair’s calf breached 8 or 10 times, dis a lot of rolling around and a few chin slaps, as it led mom in and out of the kelp forest.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com