humpback whale breaching

Six gray whales, one breaching humpback whale and more.

2017 03-15 SB Coast

The Condor Express left the SEA Landing docks at high noon and set forth on a very productive excursion along the Santa Barbara Coast.  All-in-all six gray whales, one breaching humpback whale and at least 250 long-beaked common dolphins were closely watched on this trip.

Things began to heat up right away as a single shy gray whale was located just past the outer buoy.  From this location a bunch of seabird hot spots were visible and Captain Dave wasted no time heading there to survey the situation.  These spots consisted of northern anchovies in the water, brown pelicans, various terns and gulls along with a couple hundred dolphins.  The water was clear enough for much of the action to be visible from the deck of the Condor.  This activity area also yielded three more gray whales heading northbound.

Soon deckhand Tasha spotted spouts a bit further offshore, and as we approached a small humpback whale breached completely out of the water.  This was followed by a repertoire of pectoral fin-slapping and some tail flukes in the air “head stands.”   More dolphins were all around the humpback.

On the way home two more gray whales were observed.  Wow.  The marine mammal situation is really heating up in the Santa Barbara area.

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

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