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Rarely seen KILLER WHALES + Gray Whale PREDATION!

We ran two trips today as the channel greeted us with flat seas, with bouts of sun in between fog.


While our morning trip had a beautiful encounter with humpback whales near Santa Cruz island, our afternoon private scored one of the most incredible encounters in our company's short history!


Captain Devin headed southwest towards the East channel buoy. A spout caught his eye as he slowed down to investigate. This spout soon turned into three giant dorsal fins... this could mean only one thing!


KILLER WHALES.


Seeing killer whales is rare in the channel but with more eyes on the water and a devoted community of whale watchers seeking these apex predators more and more, sightings are becoming more common. We've always known these whales frequent the channel islands, however getting to them is no easy task. Devin and our passengers arrived on the scene with the CA58s and CA163 "Liner," identified by our photographer (who sadly missed this encounter). The whales were circling the boat before a seagull on the water caught our eye. While our crew and passengers thought the seagull might be sitting on a mola, it soon became apparent that it was a piece of gray whale blubber (CONTENT WARNING, PHOTO POSTED BELOW). It was clear these whales had killed and consumed a gray whale calf sometime within the last couple of hours. While the rest of the carcass never showed itself, killer whales have been documented "stashing," their food in the middle of the water column, where neutral buoyancy occurs. While always sad to see the life of a young gray whale taken so soon, we can't forget that killer whales need to eat too. Their role as apex predators is as important as any as they regulate food chains, and often pick out weak or sick animals.


We spent an hour and a half with these incredible whales as they circled our boat. We will have more info and media to share with you all tomorrow, but it truly was a sensational day in our incredible backyard. With another pod being spotted in the Channel today by our friends at Pacific Offshore, who knows what tomorrow's trip will hold!


Until Next Time,


The SBWW Crew




CA58s in front, CA163 "Liner," in the back. Phot by Captain Devin.




Gray whale blubber found after the killer whales surfaced.


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