A phenomenal humpback mugging and endless pods of dolphins.

Bob Perrywhale watching californiaLeave a Comment

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A friendly humpback is shown spy hopping next to the Condor Express in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 09-05 SB Channel

The usual sky pattern was with us again today: dense fog quickly becomes a gray stratus layer that burns off to clear blue skies fairly quickly. “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes.”  A slight bump, from winds to the west, was with us as well. Sightings were wonderful. We closely watched 10,000 long-beaked common dolphins, around 100 California sea lions and 3 humpback whales. One deflated, floating, semi-decomposed helium Mylar balloon was retrieved from the surface by the crew wielding a gaff.


This was a “mega” day for dolphins, similar to one we experienced just a few weeks ago. Masses and lines of common dolphins that stretched for miles were seen throughout the Channel, and were seen in a very dense concentration in the whale zone. Pelagic birds, gulls, pelicans and terns were abundant. Sea lions were scattered among the whales and dolphins, too.

All 3 humpback whales were found together as a trio near the NOAA East Channel Buoy. All were adults and we had a magical encounter. We were mugged for over an hour. Other behaviors included frequent spy hopping, head stands (opposite of a spy hop), and phenomenal forays nest to, around and under the Condor Express. Everyone got great photos including those hard-to-get whalfies (whale selfie).

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

Mark your calendars! After having such wonderful sights further offshore (we were several miles south of San Miguel Island at one point) on our special 8-hour whale watch last month, Captain Dave is going to do it again!

Make your reservations now: Saturday, September 25 – 8am to 4pm


phone:  888-77WHALE or 805-882-0088

My report from the August trip is here:

I look forward to seeing you on board!


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