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Tail-fluking whales and lots of dolphins have fun in the afternoon breeze

Image: a friendly humpback whale flukes-up in the breeze.

2023 08-16 SB Channel

A glassy and overcast morning turned to a breezy and partly sunny afternoon in our neck of the Channel. Sightings were very good: 3 humpback whales and 2500 long-beaked common dolphins. The crew also removed one deflated, floating Mylar balloon from the ocean surface.

We were 5 miles off Goleta Bay when our first dolphins came to play. These were scattered, smaller groups, but spent quality time watching us. The balloon we picked up was in this area, too.

We moved further west and found more dolphins and 3 humpback whales between 5 and 7 miles south of Platform Holly. The first whale, a solo, was 5 miles out, the other two were 7 miles out. All appeared to be feeding sub-surface with short, 5-minute dive times. Coincidentally, all 3 whales fluked-up TWICE at the end of each dive cycle. The first was a “fake” deep dive, only to come back to the surface immediately as if they never kicked up their flukes. The second fluking was the “real” deep dive. (See today’s photo for an example of fluking up in the breeze, like we had today).

On the way home we found additional common dolphins.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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