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14 humpback whales and 2 rare naturalists sighted!

2021 10-20 SB Channel

Sightings today include the following closely watched species: 14+ humpback whales, 3000 long-beaked common dolphins, 300 California sea lions, and…2 Channel Islands Naturalist Corp volunteers! Seas were calm with no wind until we were on our final leg of the homeward journey. Skies were sunny and bright. It has been over a year and a half, perhaps two, since our CINC family members have been allowed to volunteer aboard the whale watching fleet due to COVID19 restrictions. It was great to have them back today! These wonderful folks enhance every trip.

Scattered dolphin pods were watched as we headed in the general direction of the west end of beautiful Santa Cruz Island. The crew removed 1 deflated, floating, helium, Mylar balloon from the ocean surface. A single, long-winded adult humpback whale was our only large cetacean until we crossed The Lanes.

South of The Lanes we encountered a phenomenal feeding hot spot filled with dolphins, sea lions, marine birds and a couple of dozen whale spouts scattered across the zone. (We closely watched 14 individual whales and do not officially record “spouts”). Several nice surface behaviors were noted in this area, including 1 adult that breached a couple of times about ½ mile from the Condor Express, and then started to lob-tail. Others were socializing and perhaps engaging in some pre-courtship actions. There was a lot of high speed chasing, chin slapping and vocalization (trumpet blows) going on.

Dave toured the majestic sea cliffs of the island and took a look at the world’s longest sea cave, the Painted Cave of Santa Cruz Island. On the way home we passed through the same hot spot and re-sighted many of the animals mentioned above.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and

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