Among 9 humpbacks watched, 6 were actively socializing on the surface!

Bob Perrywhale watching californiaLeave a Comment

Humpback whales in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 10-06 SB Channel

Calm seas with a high stratus kept things mild and comfortable today. Sightings included: 9 humpback whales, 1 Minke whale and 1500 long-beaked common dolphins. The crew also removed 4 deflated, helium, Mylar balloons from the ocean surface.

The lone Minke whale was watched through several breathing cycles and good looks were had by all. This, our first encounter, took place just 3 miles out from Santa Barbara Harbor. Dave and the crew then continued moving south.

North of the NOAA East Channel Buoy common dolphins located the Condor Express and were around in somewhat smaller numbers today…if you can call 1500 “small.” Larger aggregations of dolphins with seabirds led us to our primary hot spot today.

This hotspot was southwest of the buoy and inside The Lanes. The first humpback of the 9 closely watched at this location was a well-known individual named Snowflake. Next we watched a pair, then a loose group of 6 whales. This group of 6 was mostly younger whales. They spent the whole time engaged in chasing each other around, sometimes at high speeds. There was some lightweight aggressive behavior and a lot of rolling upside down. Was this a courtship incident?

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

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