Whale Watching in the Channel

Sleeping on the Job

The coast of California is famous for its migratory whales. And you can hire a boat, to go out to sea and get close to them. What you should also do is bring a telephoto lens on holiday, unlike me.

We boarded a huge boat at Santa Barbara. We were told that Blue Whales are bigger, so it was probably a good idea not to piss one off. Besides, there are rules about this sort of thing. We’re not allowed to chase whales — just move to where we think they’ll surface.

Humpback Diving

Unfortunately, the whales were’t very inquisitve that day. And, although we saw quite a few break the surface, we weren’t entertained by any performing Humpbacks, which are known to leap out of the water.

Blue Whale Comes Up for Air

I was thrilled to see a few Blue Whales coming up for air. That’s one ticked off the bucket list. These beauties are about 100 feet long. But, again, they weren’t performing for the cameras.

Humpack Breath

So, in between visits from the amazing whales, we were chased by pods of dolphins. Well, I say chased, it looked more like we were chasing them. But apparently, they like to swim just in front of the boat. Maybe it’s the thrill, or maybe they know something about thermodynamics they don’t teach us humans in school.

Dolphin Splash

Try as we might. We couldn’t get a closer look of the Blue Whales. But, every 10 to 15 minutes, they would come up for air in unpredicatble places, and someone would point out the whale breath in the distance.

Blue Whale Sighting

Santa Cruz, the biggest of the Channel Islands was an impressive backdrop for the hunt.

Santa Cruz

And, although we were left slightly let down by the whales, the dolphins made up for things, by dancing all around us on several occasions.

Racing Dolphins

I’m sure they smiled at us too.

Playful Dolphins

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