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16 blue whales, 7 humpback whales, 18 Dall’s porpoise and 500 long-beaked common dolphins

2017 06-08 SB Channel

Hold on to your binoculars, ladies and gentlemen.  16 blue whales, 7 humpback whales, 18 Dall’s porpoise and 500 long-beaked common dolphins were seen without the need of magnification today.  We are in the midst of a very hot time for whales and dolphins and each day unfolds new secrets.

The day got started when the Condor Express was intercepted in Santa Rosa Island waters by two groups of Dall’s porpoise.  These small black and white torpedoes rode our wake and then disappeared as fast as they arrived.  From Santa Rosa Island, Captain Dave started heading east and before long found a single blue whale and a single humpback whale.  The blue had long down times and many tall spouts were now appearing ahead of the boat between The Lanes and the West End.  This turned out to be a huge gathering of at least 15 giant blue whales that were taking turns on the surface with non-synchronized diving patterns.  Many tail flukes were being thrown up for excellent photo-ops.  Two huge ocean sunfish (Mola mola) were warming themselves on the surface in this same area.

On the way home, 6 additional humpback whales (with many more within binocular range) were encountered and they were extremely active.  There was lots of lob-tailing, pectoral fin slapping, rolling around and an occasional breach.  There was also a mother and her calf in the group.  The calf spent some time playing in the drift kelp on the surface, a behavior we all call “kelping.” And pieces of seaweed were flying all over.

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

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