A friendly humpback whale in the Santa Barbara Channel

Whale gargling? …more rare humpback behaviors.

2019 07-11 SB Channel 

The skies were sunny and bright very soon after the Condor Express left the docks this morning. Captain Colton and the crew reported 4 humpback whales, and 1500 long-beaked common dolphins.

Colton ran to the south east in search of whales near the oil rigs. While no whales were in that area,  there were plenty of dolphins around and we had great looks. We also took a tour, at a safe distance, of the infamous platform Alpha, which was responsible for the first major blowout in the Santa Barbara Channel in the late 60s. From here we took a south westerly course.

There were scattered dolphins everywhere today, but the groups were not quite as large as those we saw yesterday. Our first whales consisted of two singles in the same area and we got some pretty good looks. Meanwhile the sharp eyes of our deckhand Devin spotted a very large humpback not far away that was exhibiting some very unusual behavior. Upon arriving on the scene, we watched the whale swim forward with its mouth wide-open for about 15 or 20 seconds before slowly closing it. Everyone wondered if this was another new form of feeding, or perhaps it was us doing a nice baleen rinse, or just gargling. Nevertheless it was highly unusual.


Further to the east another whale was spotted. We ended up watching a single juvenile whale and getting great looks.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry
Condor Express, and
CondorExpressPhotos.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *