Yesterday was an *amazing* day on the water! A great crowd of mostly local
folks with a few visitors from Arizona, Canada, Finland, and Russia definitely
went home happy.
Things started off well, with sea lions playing in the harbor and a nice little
group of coastal bottlenose right off of Silver Strand Beach. The weather and
water were absolutely beautiful.
A pair of northbound grays were next. One of them was kind enough to interact
with a playful common dolphin for a little bit, rolling over and showing off
its pectoral fin, flukes, and belly.
The crew spotted some feeding behavior off the east end of Anacapa next. We
were greeted by a large pod of common dolphin, several California sea lions,
and lots of seabirds—murres, gulls, murrelets, cormorants, brown pelicans. A
couple of humpback whales made a few appearances, too.
The Main Event
We moved off southeast of Anacapa, continuing to spot humpback whales along the
way. Some came close to the boat, others kept their distance. But then, when it
was getting time to head home, we were surrounded! We stayed in place as three
people-watching humpback whales stuck close by, swimming to and fro under the
boat, from port to starboard, fore and aft, and back again. The whales were
slapping their pectoral fins, spy hopping, and rolling in the water. Perhaps
they were also scratching some itches on the keel of the boat? I believe every
single visitor was doused in whale spray several times.
Thanks to our “captors”, we were pretty late back to the harbor. Nobody seemed
to mind. :) This video clip <https://youtu.be/oq0F_wZa-3M>, if you can see it,
was taken after the whales had already stuck to us for fifteen minutes or so.
9 good humpback whale sightings
2 gray whales
20 bottlenose dolphins
400 common dolphins
Thanks so much to Captain Jeff, Chef Paul, and Chief Wildlife-Spotter Zack!