A people-watching juvenile humpback whale. iPhone photograph by Captain Dave.

Condor Express gets mugged by a people-watching humpback whale

2017 10-11 SB Channel

Captain Dave and his crew found nice wildlife-watching conditions along the northern Santa Barbara Channel.  Sightings today included: 10 humpback whales and 1500 long-beaked common dolphins.  All the action was west of Santa Barbara Harbor, and about 12 miles south of UCSB.

Upon arriving on the scene, the Condor Express was greeted first by a single humpback whale (surrounded by dolphins), then joined by three more whales (also surrounded by dolphins).  The trio consisted of a mother humpback whale and her calf, plus another large adult whale.  Numerous sea birds were also in the area, mostly black-vented shearwaters.

Additional humpback whales kept popping up to the surface amidst the dolphins, and this included one small juvenile whale with a characteristic white tail. According to Captain Dave, and (thanks, Dave) you can see his iPhone photograph above to prove it, the little whale circled the Condor Express, swam under the hulls, and swam up and down the port side.  On swim past the whale was on its side and looking directly up at its fan club.  This kind of inter-species love fest is exactly why the Condor Express crew gets up in the morning and some of us continue taking humpback whale photos decade after decade.

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