A breaching humpback whale I photographed on an earlier Condor Express excursion (2010)

Scarlet the humpback paid us a visit.

2017 11-12 SB Channel

Captain Dave reports a thin, high stratus layer that kept things cool but not cold in the Santa Barbara Channel today.  Sea conditions were good as well.  Sightings were magnificent once again, rounding out a very special week for wildlife, and included 8+ humpback whales and at least 1500 long-beaked common dolphins. Scarlet the humpback paid us a visit.

The tour started with a nice close-up orientation to the offshore oil rigs which form a line off the Carpinteria coast and are also close to our home in Santa Barbara Harbor.  Dave did his interpretation of the history, mechanical operations and productivity of the Channel rigs.  The Condor Express then moved southeast to a spot not far from a solo, but further offshore, Platform Habitat. Here some 5 or 6 whales were closely watched along with more than 1000 dolphins.  Whale behaviors included great tail fluking and close passes by the boat.  Sea lions and sea birds were also feeding in this productive region.

Dave headed further east but there was nothing equal to the hot spot we had just seen, so he looped around and made another pass through the area.  This time our old pal Scarlet the humpback paid us a visit and had two other whales with her.  Her pals got animated and breached several times, rolled around and upside-down and also “mugged” the boat.  As time was long past for our return to the harbor, Dave headed north.

As we pulled away from the action there was a very special and dramatic double breach with two whales getting airborne at the same time, right behind the Condor Express.

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

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