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Surface Lunge Feeding Humpback Whales and Lots More

2017 09-25 SB Channel

Another wonderful sunny day with calm seas and clear, blue water greeted passengers and crew as they crossed the entire Santa Barbara Channel and saw spectacular wildlife along the way.  Totals for today included:  *12 humpback whales, 2,000 long-beaked common dolphins and more than 200 California sea lions.

To set the stage it is important to visualize hundreds and hundreds of dolphins from the oil rigs off Carpenteria to Santa Cruz Island and back again.  Many of these pods of dolphins were feeding, and this activity attracted at least *19 whales to the region (we closely watched 12 of them).  Wherever there were dolphins, the sea lions were in the mix.

The whales began to show up about 6 miles off More Mesa where the first two individuals were Scarlet and a friend, accompanied (of course) by the requisite dolphins and sea lions.  Scarlet was busy feeding below the surface and did not socialize with her fan club on the Condor Express too much today.

Half way to The Lanes a trio of whales was watched.  These whales were socializing and vocalizing the entire time we spent with them, including a lot of rolling around on top of each other.  The entire event may have been a PG-13 affair.  Continuing north to The Lanes an additional 7 whales were watched and many of these were feeding on and near the surface.  There were several surface lunge feeding episodes and lots of vocalization.

Captain Eric did take the boat along the sea cliffs of Santa Cruz Island and visited the world-famous Painted Cave too.  What a day!

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

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