“Good, good, good cetaceans” – the Beach Boys (sort of…)
Summer conditions in the Santa Barbara Channel always remind me of that Beach Boys tune, as it did again today. Bright, clear, sunny with calm seas were to be had as we departed Santa Barbara Harbor and headed for the eastern grounds. We are not seeing very many Velella velella now and they appear to have sailed on. We did encounter several nice pods of long beaked common dolphins right off the bat and had great looks at these little cetaceans in the clear water. After these first dolphin pods Captain Dave steered a course to the east and our LKLOC (last known location of cetaceans). Soon we had located that humpback whale mother-calf pair that we’ve been seeing…the huge female and her hyperactive calf with the white-on-both-sides pectorals. Speaking of pects, both whales rolled on their sides and began to slap their pectorals a few times. But today the pair was mostly diving and spending 5-7 minutes down there doing what humpback #whales do (feeding?). It was kinda funny though. The pair kept diving (and feeding deep?), while up on the surface and all around the Condor Express there were many flashes of northern anchovy schools leaping out of the water (perhaps from sea lions or Minke whales). The black vented shearwaters and elegant terns were having a field day. Why not feed on the surface and show off a bit for the fans? Maybe tomorrow. The pair did make two passes directly aimed at the boat and kicked up their flukes and the last second as they dove under us Wow! As mentioned, there were also many Minke whales all around the region and everyone got good looks. I’ll post the photos sometime tomorrow.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
on the web: www.CondorExpress.com/blog