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What a wonderful day full of whales.

2016 05-08 SB Coast

Our last 3 strictly coastal gray whale trips for the season ended on a high note today with plenty of great cetacean sightings.  It was an overcast, silvery,  kind of day with little to no wind.  Here’s the breakdown:

9 am A total of 6 gray whales, 2 humpback whales and 50 long-beaked common dolphins.  The first cow-calf pair was found just outside the entrance to Santa Barbara Harbor and followed up past Shoreline Park.  These two were focused on going to Alaska and did not stop to play or nurse.  At the old lighthouse an additional 4 gray whales, consisting of 2 cow-calf pairs, were watched in the kelp.  These were together and did a bit of rolling around and bubble-blasting.  Around More Mesa we turned offshore and about 9 miles out found our 2 humpback whales.  The whales made a very close approach to the boat at one point.  Later we were joined by around 50 dolphins.

12 noon A total of 3 gray whales and 350 long-beaked common dolphins.  This time there was a substantial pod of dolphins outside the Harbor entrance and we tagged along all the way to Summerland before turning back to the west for gray whale searching.  We followed a cow-calf pair from More Mesa into Goleta Bay, and a third, single, gray whale found us off Campus Point when it surfaced near the Condor Express and stayed to look at us for a few minutes.  It may have though we were a large panga and UCSB was still an open lagoon for whales.

3 pm Six tray whales were watched on this excursion.  The first pair were located off Summerland and followed west.  These two were snorkelers.  The last two pairs were located off the lighthouse and stayed in one place rolling, spy hopping, coming to the surface belly-up and other playtime or nursing station behaviors.  It was a spectacular NatGeo experience.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store Bob Perry Condor Express

PS  Tomorrow we start our island whale-watch tours, 10am to 230pm.

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