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Tons of whale action (and whales) on a spectacular day

2019 04-28 SB Coast

Captain Colton and the crew of the Condor Express took two excursions into the coastal waters of Santa Barbara in search of wildlife. Sea conditions were “some of the best I’ve ever seen,” said Colton. The sightings were also wonderful, and included 1 gray whale, 700 common dolphins and 11 humpback whales. As is often the case, the raw numbers don’t do justice to the wonders of today’s encounters.

The morning trip ran up the coast and soon found a single gray whale. It was a little bit shy at first, but we managed to get good looks as we followed along its migratory route. Moving offshore a trio of humpback whales was watched. The group included a mother and calf. Recent scientific literature has told us that very young humpback whales not only perform a lot of surface behaviors, but it is mandatory for the development of healthy myoglobin reserves. (Myoglobin, like the hemoglobin in the bloodstream, carries the oxygen needed by whales. This is especially true when holding their breath during a dive). Our little calf breached, rolled and slapped its pectoral flippers on the water repeatedly. We watched in awe for over an hour until we had to head home. Spoiler alert! We saw this little whale again on the afternoon trip AND IT WAS STILL CARRYING ON!

As we left the harbor on the noon excursion and ran offshore a very few miles, we watched two groups of dolphins, the second being larger than the first. Continuing offshore we soon found a pair of very large humpback whales that took a particularly friendly interest in the Condor Express. The pair swam around and under the boat in shallow, clear water, then surfaced to take a look at their fan club on board. Later we also came across a group of three, then a single, humpback whale. The last sightings of the trip were of that mother-calf pair we watched on the morning trip…with “junior” still breaching and pect-slapping its heart out.

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

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