Nine humpback whales included a friendly little calf and a distinctive, white-spotted adult called Snowflake…and more!

Bob Perrywhale watching california

Humpback tail throw in the Santa Barbara Channel

2021 07-26 SB Channel

Subtropical clouds and occasional rain in the morning were offset by very calm seas (again) and over-the-top wildlife sightings. Closely watched species included: 9+ humpback whales, 1 Minke whale, 3000 long-beaked common dolphins, and 200 California sea lions. One deflated helium Mylar balloon was retrieved from the surface.

About 4 miles offshore, just as the first small pods of dolphins began to locate the boat, a wonderful Minke whale was spotted. It had long surface times and was not shy of the boat, which made for a good encounter.

From 7 miles out and all the way to The Lanes, the dolphins were everywhere and actively feeding subsurface. All of the humpback whales were in the separation zone between the two Lanes. Included in the many humpback observations today there was a mother with an active calf. The little thing did a lot of kelping and made several close approaches. Later, perhaps the 4th one we found, a large whale went on a tail-throwing spree. Upon close inspection this turned out to be “Snowflake,” a male humpback known to science as CRC-16533, and HW-MN0500973.  It was first recorded in 2017 and has only been seen in southern California.

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