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The Beast

2022 04-01 SB Coast

We ran a 9a and a 12n whale watch trip today. The morning was mostly dense, limited visibility, fog that came up off the deck when we were offshore on the humpback whale grounds. The sea surface was glassy. The sun broke out and things warmed up during the afternoon excursion. Today’s sightings included 6 humpback whales and 35 California sea lions.

We came up out of the fog to spot a cluster of at least 4 whales in the distance about 3 ½ miles off Hendry’s Beach. There was a single large tail-thrown also in the distance. As we approached the area, we located a single, large adult humpback. There were several groups of curious, perhaps a bit TOO curious, young California sea lions in the area. They appeared to be attracted to the adult whale. After a short period of “normal” whale watching, the beast suddenly, to the surprise of everyone, got airborne with three massive breaches. The whale was so large that when it hit the water there was an extremely loud thunder clap.

Obviously in need of very showy, semi-violent exercise, the beast next took up some tail throwing. This went on for at least 40 minutes. Meanwhile the activity, which started a few hundred yards from the Condor Express, slowly moved very close. Curiously, most of the tail throws were UPSIDE DOWN, not right side up. Humpbacks are equally able to launch massive and powerful thrown on the belly or on their backs. Don’t try that at home in your bath tub!

On the afternoon adventure we stayed with another adult humpback which moved around the area and had short, 4 or 5 minute, down times. It also was a regular fluker.

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

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