A previously unreported humpback behavior?

Bob Perrywhale watching california

This friendly humpback whale got a round of applause as it spy hopped right next to the Condor Express.

2021 07-04 SB Channel

A previously unreported humpback behavior?

Early high stratus quickly burned to clear and sunny skies. A light breeze wafted across the northern Channel with a small bump when we ran west. As my title for this report suggests, the raw counts do not tell the story. Two humpback whales and 2500 long-beaked common dolphins were observed closely. Please read on…

Similar to yesterday, all the action was on a single, very productive area full of bait fish schools, sea birds, dolphins and whales. All this was about 12 miles south of Platform Holly, near the middle of the Channel.

At first, we were approached by lots of groups of dolphins that took a break from their hunting to inspect the Condor Express and their fans on board. Dolphins in even larger groups were around us for the rest of the trip due to the presence of ample food.

Within this hotspot we closely watched 2 whales. The first was an adult whale with a normal dive/surface cycle and it was fun to watch. Less than a mile west of this first humpback we were approached by a second, much friendlier adult. This one mugged the boat for over an hour. During this time period it swam back and forth along both sides of the boat as an equal opportunity whale. It also passed under our twin hulls several times. A previously unreported behavior was documented: the whale spent time directly astern with its mouth open wide, letting the rapid stream of water from our jet engines pass through. Our best guesses were: a. it felt good, and/or, b. it somehow cleaned its baleen plates. The whale also spy hopped several times, and played with every kelp strand that floated by.

On the way home: more dolphins!

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