Date: Sunday February 19th, 2023
Harbor: Channel Islands, Oxnard
- Humpback Whale
- Minke Whale
Captain Alex Legaspi of the SUNFISH
A this time of year we typically look for Gray Whales as they migrate north and south. However, the Santa Barbara Channel is home to several different species of whales and dolphins throughout the year. We were fortunate to encounter several of these species on this trip. Just a couple miles up the Hueneme Submarine Canyon, we spotted a Minke Whale just off the bow of the SUNFISH. These are the smallest of the baleen whales, but they are one of the most common. Despite this, they are seldom seen due them lacking a visible blow and their swift movements. We continued onward to an area we normally expect to encounter Gray Whales, however we were greeted to the sight of a out of season Humpback Whale tail lobbing in the distance. We watched for over an hour as this individual circled the area. This whale showed us several behaviors that Humpbacks are famous for, including throwing its tail high into the air and slapping its huge pectoral fins against the surface. It repeatedly continued these actions until finishing its display with an epic breach, thrusting its entire body above the surface and coming down with massive splash. As these animals are typically in warmer breeding grounds this time year, this is prime example that you never know what you are going see when whale watching in the Santa Barbara Channel.
-Capt. A. Legaspi