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More than a dozen humpback whales, more gray whale calves, dolphins, sea lions…

2021 04-12 SB CHANNEL

It was bumpy from the west in the morning with not much wind and skies were overcast most of the day today. Captain Colton and his crew closely watched: 4 gray whales, 12+ humpback whales, 30 coastal bottlenose dolphins, 50 long-beaked common dolphins, and 50 California sea lions.

In the morning our first mother/calf gray whale pair was sighted off Hendry’s Beach, near the Boathouse. We had great looks and followed them west to Goleta Bay. Heading offshore then east we soon found and watched a mother/calf humpback whale pair. At one point the very large mom threw her tail.

Bottlenose dolphins in the East Beach anchorage, a large group with many calves, got the sightings started on the noon adventure. After the dolphin encounter Colton moved the Condor Express offshore where 6 individual pairs of humpback whales were spotted and watched. Our old pal “Black Rakes” was in the first pair. And some active surface lunge feeding was observed by the third pair. Seabirds and sea lions joined the feeding.

Another mother/calf gray whale pair was found off Hope Ranch, near the mussel farm, on the afternoon excursion. After some nice looks including a mini-breach by the calf, we moved outside again. About 6 miles out we located 4 humpback whales feeding just beneath the surface. We saw the ventral grooves as the whales did a bit of rolling to engulf their prey. Again the sea lions and birds were on the scene. Additional spouts were in the vicinity as well. Towards the end of the trip, the last humpback mugged the Condor and we slowed down to enjoy the interspecies interaction.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

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