9 Gray whales, Minkes mug the boat, and 4 humpbacks lunge feed and throw tails.

Bob Perrywhale watching californiaLeave a Comment

Surface lunge-feeding humpback whales in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 03-28 SB COAST

Phenomenal sightings: 9 gray whales, 4 humpback whales and 2 Minke whales. Sea conditions were just as phenomenal as the cetaceans: glassy, sunny and calm seas all day. Kudos to Captain Colton and the crew.

On the morning run we headed west then curved outside to find 1 shy gray whale, then, not too far away, a very cooperative pair of grays gave us wonderful looks and nice tails.

Noon found us about 3 miles off Lighthouse Point with a single gray, fun to watch. Soon thereafter we were southeast and another pair of cooperative, tail fluking grays made for a very good encounter. However, it was a pair of friendly Minke whales that came to the boat on our way back to the harbor, that “stole the show.” The pair mugged the boat, surfed our bow, side and stern waves, and everyone was agog. I think Minke whales are getting friendlier over the years.

The afternoon excursion got going quickly with a single gray whale just 2 miles off Hope Ranch.  While watching this solo animal we noticed an additional pair of grays inside of our location and closer to the beach. The pair was cooperative and everyone had splendid looks.  South of this location our keen-eyed deckhand, Devin, spotted spouts to the south. This turned out to be four humpbacks, a pair of adults and a mother with her calf. The mother and calf did some photogenic surface feeding lunges sending thousands of tiny anchovies fleeing. Meanwhile the adults punctuated the afternoon with some mighty tail throws. Wow!

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

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