Record numbers of humpbacks, “exhaled breath condensate,” and copious kelping!

Bob Perrywhale watching california

A humpback whale in the Santa Barbara Channel. The beast is on its back, rolling in kelp, and using both its long pectoral fins to fling stipes and fronds of giant kelp asunder.

2021 10-17 SB Channel

Skies were sunny with glorious patched of billowing cumulus clouds. The wind and seas were both calm but ramped-up a bit as the day moved on. There were near record-breaking numbers of cetaceans today, including: 19+ humpback whales, 2500 long-beaked common dolphins, and 500 California sea lions. All of the hot spots were on the coastal side (north side) of the Channel.

The first humpback was watched just 2 mile off the beach. Next, we looked at a pair, and they were 4 miles out. Finally (although we didn’t know it at the time), a massive hot spot between 6 and 7 miles out from the beach produced the most concentrated whale spot we’ve reported all year. Dave and the crew estimated a least 30 humpback whales were present…we took our time and closely watched 19 of them. The largest concentration of sea lions, dolphins and sea birds also was recorded here. Many of the whales were friendly and at one point at least 5 were alongside and passing back and forth under our bow. One pair in the area was actively socializing, perhaps taking a joyful break from successful feeding. There was celebratory chin slapping, tail throwing, kelping and pectoral fins flinging kelp asunder. Deckhand Devin, expert spotter and all around man-of-the-sea, had only one regret as we closely watched so many active and spouting whales…the presence of massive amounts of whale snot (politely called “exhaled breath condensate”) all over the hulls and windows of the Condor Express.

By the way, the crew also removed 2 deflated, helium, floating, Mylar death bags…aka, balloons, from the ocean surface.

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