12 Grays including 6 calves – Perfect Conditions !
“Magic Man” Captain Dave showed all the human beings on the Condor Express a few tricks today. It was a sunny day with fairly calm seas and ideal for spotting whales and dolphins during all three excursions. On the 9am adventure we had a Sextet Pod (3 mother-calf pairs) traveling together. As has been the theme with the babies, there was a lot of deviation from the migratory path. Rolling around and passing in and out of the kelp forest was frequent and enjoyed by all on board. In addition, the crew reports seeing 2 or more additional gray whales, but did not have time to watch them and there was no real need to pad the totals.
At noon a Quad Pod (2 cow-calf pairs) were followed up past Hope Ranch and into the More Mesa area…more kelping and frolicking as reported on the morning trip. Another huge bonus on this adventure was an encounter with at least 30 coastal bottle nose dolphins in the kelp beds. They moved around in the kelp (hunting, socializing) and made several trips out to the Condor Express to ride the bow and look up and do some people watching. The water was very clear and blue. The dolphins also interacted a bit with the gray whales.
Finally, on the 3pm excursion, one cow-calf pair and about 10 coastal bottle nose dolphins were watched closely. We encountered the pair just off the Yacht Club and went along for the ride as they meandered west on their journey to Alaska. The cow-calf migration, which is the second half of the gray whale northbound trip, is really heating up now. Tomorrow, next week and perhaps the week after should be amazing. Then things quiet down and around mid-May the annual parade comes to an end.
You should get out there now while things are really hot. For Easter Sunday we’re running a 12 noon and 3 pm excursion.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express