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So many whales I'll just urge you to read the report.

Image: one of several breaching humpback whales today…and a salute!


2024 06-01 SB Channel


The marine layer persisted across the Channel all day. Seas were glassy until half-way through the trip when a light breeze from the west put some tiny chop on the water. It was a phenomenal day full of so many whales it was impossible to count them all. In addition, the consensus best possible estimates which follow, there were humpback and blue whales all around us in the distance. As for the aforementioned humpback whales, we saw over 100 random, one of a kind, breaches all around. It was beautiful to witness, but frustrating to count. Today’s totals: 18+ humpback whales, 6 giant blue whales, 2 California sea lions, 5 Risso’s dolphins and 1 Ocean sunfish (Mola mola).


Here is a summary of the day in chronological order:


1000 – Depart Santa Barbara Harbor on a due south heading which changed here and there to follow wildlife until we ended up south of The Lanes adjacent to the Santa Cruz Channel.


1025 – We watched a very large Ocean sunfish (Mola mola) which swam around with only the tip of its dorsal fin out of the water.


1045 – Two young California sea lions were seen “logging” (not finning) on the surface.


1110 – North of The Lanes – Two individual humpback whales were watched. Everyone had good looks.


1125 – We came upon a giant blue whale just in time to see it put up its enormous and wonderful tail flukes. The whale fans on board cheered. This first blue whale alternated between 6 min and 10 min dives on a regular cycle, and showed it’s flukes on about half of them.


1146 – Our first breaching humpback of the day was seen by all in the near distance.


1205pm – We watched 2 humpbacks and then a giant blue whale. The blue whale fluked up.


1215 – Another giant blue whale swam by fairly close to the Condor Express.


1225 – One more giant blue is spotted.


1240 – We followed a trio of humpbacks. Two of them became very active and aerial and we saw breaching, tail slaps, pectoral fin slaps and heard trumpet vocalizations quite often. One of the trio came over and mugged us for 15 minutes.


During this sighting period, Captain Eddy spotted a handful of Risso’s dolphins. They swam with the humpbacks for a while then pealed-off to the east, riding the swells from the west. This is our first Risso’s sighting of the season.


110 – After running west towards a non-stop breaching humpback, we located and watched 4 humpback whales. The active breacher had been seen in the distance, and now up close, breaching for at least an hour…and continued to do so as we left to head home.


You never know what Mother Nature has in store.


Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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