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So many whales, so close to home.

2022 03-31 SB Coast

Two trips left Santa Barbara Landing today, 9a and 12n. It was partly sunny most of the morning then became mostly sunny and a bit warmer later. Seas were bumpy nearshore, but out a few miles things were much improved. There were light winds at the start and moderate winds at the end. We did not see the little harbor “visitor” gray whale today. Sightings, however, were phenomenal: 10 California sea lions, 20 long-beaked common dolphins and 17 humpback whales.

We started the noon trip with a small pod of dolphins and watched as they rode our bow and side waves.

Humpback whales were all over the area from about 4 miles to 6 miles off the Santa Barbara coast. They were mostly in pairs with a few singles here and there. We watched 8 whales on the morning trip and 9 on the noon adventure. I cannot be sure how many were seen on both trips. All of them seemed to be engaged in feeding sub-surface, and their downtimes were all in the 5 to 7 minute range. Most were showing good flukes. The last 2 whales of the day were a mother and her very young calf. We watched the pair for several short breathing cycles. Then, as Captain Dave announced that we’d be heading back to the harbor (hold on to the handrails, etc), WHAM, the calf breached right next to the boat. Then the adult breached. Then the calf continued breaching and mixed in a few nice chin-slaps that were probably half-hearted breaches. The adult kept up a concerto of trumpet blows, then rolled upside-down and slapped her pectoral fins as the calf did another chin-slap. The whale watchers on board were ecstatic, and so was I.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

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