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

A single feeding humpback and 1500 dolphins…in the fog.

2019 08-07 SB Channel

A single juvenile humpback whale and 1500 long-beaked common dolphins were watched today, mostly occurring inside “sucker holes.”  Regular readers may recall that small pockets of improved visibility, some with sunshine, may develop under dense ground fog conditions.  In Alaska, the local fishermen call them “sucker holes.”  Apparently, one is a sucker if one believes the fog is lifting to bright sun, when, in reality it is only a small pocket of a few dozen yards of clarity.

Other than the dense, surface level fog, seas were calm with little to no wind or swell.  Dolphins found us everywhere and we tried to stay with them as they often feed on the same anchovy bait balls as their larger cousins, the whales.  This strategy paid off again today with the sighting of a single juvenile humpback.  The whale performed a very close vertical surface lunge when we first came into its area.  Later it surfaced amidst hot spots with dolphins and sea birds feeding, but did not break the surface.

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

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