Humpback "Dos Equis" swoops its tail a few days ago in the Santa Barbara Channel

Humpback “Dos Equis” shows its unique feeding style again today.

2019 08-04 SB Channel – West

Finding wildlife in dense fog is a skill learned through years of practice on top of loads of talent.  Captain Colton and the Condor Express team had plenty of practice today, and pulled-out some fantastic sightings nonetheless.  Totals for this foggy day included: 4+ humpback whales and 2000 long-beaked common dolphins.

Dolphins like the Condor Express and love to ride our bow, side and stern wake.  We are not the only boat they use for fun, they are equal opportunity surfers. So when the visibility is ¼ mile or less, having boat-friendly surfing mammals around comes in handy.  Using active bio-sonar and great hearing, dolphins may well be immune to low visibility.  And so it went for most of the day.

After many great and foggy dolphin encounters, and a long run up to the Platform Hondo area, two whales came into our limited visual range (which had “opened up” to ½ mile in spots).  One of the two was “Dos Equis,” the whale with an innovative surface feeding pattern that involves swooping its powerful tail through a bait ball, then looping back to engulf thousands of fish.  Sometime the swoop-and-scoop finds the mouth just under the surface. At other times, as was the case today, Dos Equis exposes its upper jaw full of baleen and remains fairly stationary with its mouth open to capture northern anchovies. Remarkable!

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