Playful Gray Whales Off Santa Barbara Coast

By the edhat staff

A video of two gray whales entertaining a crowd off the Santa Barbara coast is going viral.

The two whales came really close to a whale watching boat last month and delighted passengers to dives, spouts, and subsequent rainbows. 

On February 26, the Sunfish vessel from Channel Islands Expedition cruised along the coast in what turned out to be the trip of a lifetime.

Captain Alex Legaspi noted in his Captain’s Log that a pair of northbound whales took a break from their annual 13,000+ mile migration to get up close and personal.

“For over an hour, the whales approached mere inches from the hull of the SUNFISH as they rolled, spyhopped (rising vertically out of the water to view above the surface) and even blew bubbles at us with wide open mouths showing off their baleen plates,” Legaspi wrote.

Passengers laughed and cheered while trying to capture the perfect photo as the whales put on quite the performance.

“Words cannot express just how special it was to spend time eye to eye with these whales as they viewed at everyone onboard and just how exceptionally rare it was for these animals to display behavior like this off the coast of California. Displays like this from Gray Whales is typically restricted to the shallow lagoons of their breeding grounds in Baja Mexico, but we were incredibly lucky to have such an encounter just a few miles off the coast of Oxnard in the open Santa Barbara Channel with no other vessels around,” Legaspi wrote.

He went on to say that gray whales are naturally curious and intelligent and its said they are drawn to certain vessels due to low frequency vibrations boat engines produce.

“This is the first time we’ve witnessed actions like this from Gray Whales in our years of operating whale watching trips and documenting Gray Whale encounters. These animals approached us completely on their own, and our vessel was completely stationary out of gear for the entire duration of this encounter,” stated Legaspi.

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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