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Scarlet Copies her Alaskan Kin

2015 08-06 SB Channel

Mother Nature sent a bit of weather and seas at us today in the form of a heavy/moderate chop with some wind too. Although it was sunny with a thin subtropical cloud layer, the ocean conditions made it tough to move around especially to the west.   But the Condor Express is built tough and designed for Santa Barbara Channel conditions, so the search for cetaceans was successful despite Ms. Nature’s tricks.

After leaving Santa Barbara Harbor and heading southwest for a while, we had two nice Minke whale sightings, one was a bit shy, the other was bold and easy to watch. A few long-beaked common dolphins were riding the swells.

We changed course and rode the seas east to make the ride more calm and eventually found a humpback #whale southwest of Habitat. It turned out to be our old friend, Scarlet.   Scarlet never disappoints her human fans, and today she had a novel feeding trick to show us.   Although she was alone in this area, there were some anchovy schools to be had. Scarlet dove, let loose a bubble stream from the depths that partially encircled the bait ball, then rose up from beneath and enjoyed her dining experience.   We’ve all see those crafty Alaskan humpbacks that cooperatively bubble-feed, but here, today, for the first time we witnessed a lone whale doing her best to copy the trick made famous in the far north Pacific.

At the end of the day we tallied up 1 humpback, 2 Minkes and 150 common dolphins. We’re all keeping our fingers crossed that these seas calm down tomorrow.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express

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