Cool sightings: kelping humpbacks and more.

Bob Perrywhale watching californiaLeave a Comment

A friendly humpback whale is seen draped in drift kelp, a behavior we call "kelping."

2021 11-20 SB Channel

It was a cool, crisp day with an almost wintertime feel.  Skies were covered by a high stratus layer and seas were fairly calm with a bit more bump near Santa Cruz Island. Sightings were good, including: 5 humpback whales, 2 Minke whales and 1000 long-beaked common dolphins.

Offshore a ways and southwest of the UCSB campus, we found our first 3 humpback whales. It was a mother (named “Ciana” with previous California sightings) and her calf, along with an adult escort. There was a bit of action here with some very nice kelping behaviors that included head, back and tail flukes. The calf threw its tail, too. During the sighting a pod of 1000 dolphins moved in to the area accompanied by an entourage of sea birds. As if someone threw a switch, a feeding frenzy of dolphins and birds erupted.

South of The Lanes we watched 2 more adult humpback whales. They had long dive times and were not as “showy” as the trio we watched earlier.

On the way home, just 5 miles offshore, we were approached by a pair of Minke whales. This may be the famous local whale duo that can, at times, mug the Condor Express. Today there were great looks and a few close, friendly passes.

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

PS: Sign up now for the Santa Barbara Harbor Holiday Parade of Lights to be held on December 12.

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