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1st Giant Blue whale of the season (plus a nice humpback and tons of dolphins)

2020 06-11 SB Channel

Two trips left the dock again today, the morning trip departed at 9am and the afternoon trip left at noon. Skies were sunny and nice although dense fog banks were seen to the east and west of our location. A light chop on the sea surface flattened out to make glassy conditions around 10am. Sightings for the day included: 1 blue whale, 1 humpback whale, 1000 long-beaked common dolphins and 1000 short-beaked common dolphins. A single highly animated California sea lion was also watched.

The fog banks described above were close to Santa Cruz Island and moved north during the day. At one point a southbound commercial vessel in the shipping lanes was watched as it moved from the bright sun and slowly disappeared completely in the ground-level dense fog.

Today marks the appearance of our first giant blue whale of the season. It was not a huge individual, but ever so majestic and wonderful to watch nonetheless. The blue was seen on the afternoon trip when we ran back out to The Lanes (where we left a nice humpback whale on the morning trip). The blue had one very long dive and two shorter ones. During its submerged time it swam about ½ mile each time. We got good looks at the giant.

As mentioned above, we encountered a nice humpback whale on the morning excursion. Not only did it stop a few times to do some kelping, but the whale had a furry brown comrade in the form of a young California sea lion. The sea lion kept us well informed as to where the whale was and helped us be in the vicinity when it surfaced. While waiting for the whale to surface the sea lion got bored and came over to the boat to pose for a few selfies.

The morning trip featured the long-beaked species of common dolphin and the first pod on the afternoon trip was also of this type. As is usually the case, these little cetaceans rode our bow, side and stern waves…what fun!

The second big dolphin pod on the afternoon trip featured the shorth-beaked species. Typical for this type of dolphin there was an abundance of leaping, belly-flopping and other forms of aerial acrobatics. All this took place on glassy, blue water…fantastic!

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

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