8 humpbacks with plenty of great behaviors.

Bob Perrycommon dolphins, Condor Express, humpback whales, Santa Cruz Island

A friendly humpback whale pays a visit to its fan club.

2018 09-28 SB Channel

A couple of nice breaches off the western end of Santa Cruz Island guided Captain Dave and the crew of the Condor Express into a nice activity zone.  Skies were overcast all day and, consequently, the sea surface was flat and calm.  Totals for the day included: 8 humpback whales (more in the area) and 700 long-beaked common dolphins.

The breaching humpback mentioned above went through a nice period of chin-slapping after breaching.  In an oft-seen incident of possible  intra-species communication, a second whale, about ¼-mile away, responded to the first whale with some nice chin-slaps of its own.  We’ve seen this with their breaching behavior, too, from time to time…one whale seems to get another one motivated. Who knows what they are talking about sub-surface.

Speaking of sub-surface activities, most of the time spent with whales today consisted of them making repeated 4 – 5 minute dives, probably to feed on anchovy schools beneath the surface.  The abundance of large, predatory sea birds such as brown pelicans and others, might suggest they were not feeding on krill.

One of the whales, a very large individual, made a few friendly/close approaches to the Condor Express to take a “victory lap” in front of its fan club on the boat.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry
Condor Express, and
CondorExpressPhotos.com