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Scarlet the humpback and Carmello

2016 07-06 SB Channel

Captain Dave and his crew had another fantastic day full of cetacean sightings in the Santa Barbara Channel.  Seas were calm and there was a thin stratus layer up above. Total species sightings included:  humpback whales = 12 (more in the area), blue whales = 4 more in the area, fin whale = 1, and long-beaked common dolphins = approximately 2,000.  Here is how the trip progressed:

About 10 miles south of Santa Barbara there were several humpback whales and several hundred dolphins working an area of (probable) sub-surface food. .  One of the whales was our old pal Scarlet the humpback, so-named due to a unique propeller scar across her back with large spherical nodules of scar tissue. This caused good surface intervals and numerous tail flukes to be observed.  Moving ahead a few miles to The Lanes, 8 more humpback whales and at least 1,000 dolphins were found.  These were also feeding sub-surface.

South of The Lanes many more humpback whales as well as 4 blue whales were busy finding lunch.  One of the blue whales had a back-story.  It was Carmello, the super large blue whale with two “camel humps” and a depression in between on its back.  Carmello has been around for the past few weeks and is known to kick up its flukes pretty often.  We first saw this whale almost exactly one year ago.

On the way home a breaching humpback was spotted and we slowed down to watch as it repeated its aerial antics several times and everyone had good looks although things happened a little bit away from the Condor Express.

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

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