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Speckles, the very friendly little humpback whale

2015 09-15 SB Channel

It rained a little bit last night so when Captain Dave steered the Condor Express out of Santa Barbara this morning skies were still a bit cloudy and the west wind was just starting to pick up. There was not much of a swell, but after noon the seas were moderately choppy. Funny it is to compare the feeling of the wind blowing across our warm El Niño waters versus a “typical” Fall year when such winds would be a bit chilly. Today was positively balmy.

Although we covered a lot of water today, mostly to the south and western regions of the Santa Barbara Channel, and we watched 2 very nice humpback whales, one of them stole the show. We encountered a whale we watched last year, perhaps when it was still a tiny calf. This year it is still very small, but has retained its “speckled” skin coloration. We found “Spreckles” today because we happened to see it breach once about two miles away from the boat. One we settled-in to watching this little cetacean it eventually came very close to the bow of the boat and, naturally, its fan club went crazy. Seeing this little speckled whale through the choppy, but still very clear and cobalt, waters was a treat.

Dave also had us spend time with a large pod of perhaps 1,000 long-beaked common dolphins that were friendly, but then, on three occasions, took off at top speed like a stampede for a few hundred yards.   Then the pod settled back into its friendly behavior. But for sure, Spreckles, the friendly humpback whale, was the unanimous favorite today.

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

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