Santa Cruz Island blue whales have distinct dive patterns.

Bob Perrywhale watching californiaLeave a Comment

We saw a lot of these "blue streak" reflections from the first of our two giant blue whales today. Shallow swimming permits the bright sun to reflect of the body of the whale.

2020 10-09 Santa Cruz Island – West

High, thin stratus gave way to blue skies above the land of the giants along the western end of Santa Cruz Island. Weather was cooler today and a light breeze punctuated an autumnal feel. Sighting today included: 2 giant blue whales and 1000 long-beaked common dolphins.

Captain Dave reported the first large herd of dolphins about 6 miles offshore, surrounded by feeding seabirds. This was a long, spread-out hot spot and it was surprising NOT to find a humpback or two in the mix. In the afternoon, about 3 miles out from the harbor, another good sized pod located the Condor Express.

The first giant was encountered in The Lanes adjacent to the world-famous Painted Cave. It was an unusual whale with 15 minute dive times. Its surface breathing behavior was also unique. A few short breaths was followed by a period of shallow,  just beneath the surface, swimming…a few more breaths, shallow swim, until a final sounding. During the surface swims the sun was bright and the water was clear. The “blue streak” of bright light reflected off the body of the beast…always a marvel.

After moving east along The Lanes a second giant was watched. It followed a breathing pattern much more like what has been typical this year: 8 minute dive followed by a dozen or so breaths, then a sounding dive.

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

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