North Channel exploration yields great results under “fresh marine” conditions.

Bob Perrywhale watching california

A large adult humpback whale gets active in the fresh breeze. Here a dramatic tail throw is captured.

2021 05-26 SB Channel

Captain Dave and the crew encountered rather bumpy and breezy conditions in the Channel today. Making the necessary modifications for a comfortable trip, Dave wisely kept things here on the north side of the channel and spend a lot of time with the wind and waves a stern. Today we closely watched 10+ humpback whales,   75 Pacific white-sided dolphins, 300 long-beaked common dolphins and 100 California sea lions.

About 5 miles south of Henry’s Beach our first whale of the day was a large adult moving north…back towards the shore. Out of the blue, no pun intended, it did a series of violent and thunderous tail throws which, in the wind, were all the more dramatic. Moving to the northwest very slowly we found a hot spot about 6 miles south of UCSB and Coal Oil point. Here there were anchovy bait balls below the surface and a series of predators were there feeding including: 6+ humpbacks, sea lions, pacific white siders (aka “Lags”), and common dolphins too. 

After a long and quality viewing session at the hot spot previously described, we pushed about 5 miles to the east where we found a mother humpback whale with her calf that was slowly traveling west (the opposite of the direction that we wanted to go). We had good looks before continuing our quest. Northeast of the NOAA East Channel Buoy there were loads of humpback whale spouts to be seen at a distance but, at this point, the seas were getting challenging and it was time to head home.

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