2018 04-15 SB Coast
Calm seas prevailed along the Santa Barbara coast today. Skies were partly cloudy with plenty of little sunny warm spots. Little to no wind was encountered. Captain Dave and his crew located eight gray whales and two inshore bottlenose dolphins during a single, 12 noon, excursion. It was an amazing day full of whales for sure.
Less than 1/2 hour after we departed the harbor four gray whales were located together playing in the kelp beds near 1000 Steps Beach. It was to mothers with their respective calves.
The little calves, with their mothers in tow, moved back-and-forth across the kelp and into the beach then outside into deeper water. We watch this behavior for about an hour. There was plenty of rolling around showing pectoral fins, bubble blasting and other behaviors. As we watch the four whales a couple of bottlenose dolphins came by on their way to the east. They did not interact with the whales as far as we could tell from our above-water perspective.
A little bit later in the trip, two juvenile gray whales were located about a quarter of a mile offshore from the Blue House. We watch them for a while until another cow-calf pair showed itself just ahead of the boat. What an amazing day full of whales it was!
When gray whale moms and their newborn calves head to the Alaskan feeding grounds, the calves play around and do other interesting things like solicit nursing. Here we see half of the mom's tail flukes in the air. If you look closer, to the right, you'll see "junior's" tail fluke tip too.