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Rope the humpback slaps a pesky sea lion.

A sea lion feeds on a barracuda by tossing it around. Later it was swallowed tail first.

Rope the humpback slaps a pesky sea lion.

Out on the feeding grounds in the Santa Barbara Channel there was spectacular weather today. It was warm and sunny with practically unlimited visibility from Pt. Mugu to Pt. Conception. There were plenty of spouts to see as they stood out brightly against the blue sky. We had four, then two more and then a single humpback whale (total = 7). Wouldn’t you know that among the last whales to be watched was our pal, Rope. Like the other humpback whales, Rope was pretty busy feeding. But there were tons of seabirds, common dolphins and California sea lions doing the same thing…taking advantage of the fresh anchovy banquet. At one point, the fearless sea lions must have come in too close for comfort and Rope did a giant tail throw to scare them away. It was so sudden it not only scared the sea lions away, but shook me up a bit too! Luckily the camera was firing at the time and this will be among the photos from today that I post up to the site later this week. Other whale behaviors included a very close approach and subsequent pass directly under the Condor Express, and one whale that stopped to “log” (whalespeak for “sleep”) on the surface for a while. Several Minke whales were also dining on the anchovies too.

It was a tremendous visual experience and so typical of our late Fall weather in the Santa Barbara Channel.

Best regards, Bob Perry

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