A LITTLE GRAY WHALE CALF TAKES A MOMENT TO SPY HOP AND LOOK AROUND IN THE NEAR SHORE KELP FOREST
2015 05-07 SB Coast
A moderate breeze tore through the coastal zone today as the edge of a very late winter storm (that will probably produce a lot more wind than rain) began to show itself. Wind waves were 4 feet or so from the west, but this did not deter our crafty and multitalented Captain Dave from gingerly heading into it and successfully locating 4+ #whales and 2 species of #dolphins. The fresh air alone was worth the trip ! Here’s the scoop:
Proceeding westward into the seas we located a quad pod, 2 mother gray whales with their calves, bunched together tight, in very shallow water just up past the Santa Barbara Light. As we approached the whales were apparently in shallow water for a rest, relaxation, play and possibly a nursing break. Bubble blasts, rolling around, tiny tail flukes in the air, and spy-hops were seen by all the whale fans on board the Condor Express. During this playtime, about 5 coastal bottlenose dolphins passed by, perhaps foraging. The rolling and blasting continued for about 20 minutes and then the 4 whales got back on their migratory path. We followed along past Hendry’s Beach and into Hope Ranch. Up ahead and into the seas we clearly saw two more spouts from a third mother gray whale and her calf, but to minimize the bumping and so forth, Dave took us southeast with the swells at our stern.
After a short introduction to Platform Charlie we came across a good sized pod of long-beaked common dolphins accompanied by numerous gulls and elegant terns. We watched these small cetaceans bust through the swells as they led us in the general direction of home (Santa Barbara Harbor). It is always a wild thing to see dolphins in rough seas and how marvelously adapted they are.
REMINDER: Next Monday, May 17, we make the shift over to our “Island Whale Watching” trips which depart promptly at 10 am and return around 230 pm.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express