Image: an adult humpback whale makes a friendly close pass.
2023 05-09 SB Coast
A single 4 ½ hour trip was conducted today. Skies started out with a thick, gray stratus layer. As we moved offshore, and then to the west, we left the oily glass surface conditions behind and as the skies cleared, the wind picked up. Soon we had small whitecaps. Sightings were very good: 6 humpback whales, 3000 long-beaked common dolphins and 30 California sea lions.
The action began off Hope Ranch and continued past More Mesa, Goleta Bay, and UCSB. We ended up about 4 miles out from Sands Beach. We watched 6 different whales today, including one pair, and all were adults…mostly large ones. The region described above was festooned with medium-to-large surface anchovy schools. These became hot spots full of pelicans, gulls, cormorants, sea lions and dolphins.
The first 2 or 3 individual whales had short surface intervals and long down times during which they moved a great distance. Some even turned around underwater and swam in the opposite direction. It was challenging. Later encounters featured several close approaches, some distant and one huge vertical lunge, and a single breach about a mile away.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com