A mother humpback whale (at top) and her young calf with white pectoral fins put on a show out at Santa Rosa Island today. photo: CondorExpressPhotos.com
Tropical clouds and humidity produce humpback mom & calf !
Warm and humid with dark clouds overhead that streamed in from the south and east. It never really rained but the east winds did set up some interesting wave patterns as the seas bucked up against the prevailing west swells in the Santa Barbara Channel. Although we ran the coast far to the west, it was our intention to bend it to the south and end up on the traditional feeding grounds off Santa Rosa Island. Here, not more than a few miles off the island, we found a very large humpback whale and her calf. As you can see in the photograph above, the little calf had pure white pectoral fins that glowed under water and made it easy to track and take photos. At one point the calf swam directly under the Condor Express and you could see those white pects down a few fathoms. In addition to this very friendly visit, both whale fluked up quite frequently, and the little calf rolled around a few times, perhaps nursing solicitation behavior. There were a very few scattered and small common dolphin pods today, perhaps 500 total. We eventually ended up off the northwest corner of Santa Cruz Island and here we found about 20 Risso’s dolphins that were scattered far and wide over at least a mile of open water. At one point while dolphin watching there was a very big ocean sunfish (Mola mola). All in all it was a spectacular day to be out at the islands enjoying all the wildlife.
You never know what Mother Nature will have in store. Bob Perry Condor Express