One of dozens of breaching instances seen today on the humpback whale grounds in the Santa Barbara Channel.

American Cetacean Society all-day trip yields breach fest.

2019 07-27 SB Channel – ACS

This was the annual, 8-hour, American Cetacean Society all day whale watch on the Condor Express.  Seas had a moderate chop and swell.  The breeze ran from moderate to brisk.  Skies were blue and it was sunny all day.  Sightings included 17+ humpback whales and around 1500 common dolphins.  Due to sea conditions it is possible some whales may have circled around and accidentally been counted twice.  As for the dolphin species, again sea conditions made it challenging to determine if one or two pods of short-beaks were in the mix.  Most were long-beaks.  Plenty of surface behaviors were seen today.

We left the docks around 815am and just after 9am we were approaching a spot southwest of Habitat with our first dolphins and whales.  These inaugural whales featured one individual with an all-white tail, framed in black.  We headed southeast.

Later in the trip we worked a region near The Lanes and north of the eastern end of beautiful Santa Cruz Island.  This area produced a non-stop collection of whales, both adult and juvenile. A particular mother and calf would be seen for the next hour or more.  The calf made a couple of very close passes by the boat, breached a bit, and also did a few mighty tail throws.  Meanwhile a very active whale in the distance was breaching multiple times and got everyone even more excited. 

Many more whales were watched alone, in pairs and even a trio or two. One of a pair became “the star of the show.” Over a one hour period, it breached at least 20 times, and slapped its long white pectoral fins dozens of times too.  Multiple other whales breached all around us in the distance.  One observer estimated there were at least 40 instances of breaching on this trip.

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