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One of two hefty adult humpbacks gets aerial

2022 07-21 SB Channel

Skies were sunny all day except for a patch high stratus mid-Channel. Seas were calm and there was a light breeze offshore. Sightings included 2+ humpback whales, 20 California sea lions and 2500 long-beaked common dolphins.

Dolphin mini-pods (10 – 20 per pod) were everywhere we travelled today, starting only 1 mile offshore. Some groups were actively feeding, others were searching. When we neared separation zone between the two commercial shipping lanes on our southwesterly heading, a few larger pods were found feeding, Seabirds, sea lions and a couple of individual adult humpback whales joined the dining party. We had the good fortune to see each of these whales (called #1 and #2 for discussion purposes) multiple times.

Humpback #1, so-called because we watched it first, was the largest of the 2 adults. During our first visit, it launched a massive tail thrown. About ½ mile south we spotted, then watched, humpback #2, which was surrounded by dolphins. This second individual was busy feeding sub-surface. Soon, however, #1 joined #2, and we all thought the two would take advantage of the large bait balls being concentrated by the dolphin attacks. But, as it turned out, #1 rolled around, slapped its long pectoral flippers, let loose some loud trumpet vocalizations, then breached non-stop. It was still breaching when we eventually left the area to motor home.

Additional spouts were seen all around the area and we will explore further on tomorrow’s trip (weather and sea conditions permitting…and they’re looking good now).

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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