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4 Gray Whales Put on a Great Show

The Condor left the dock for two trips, one at 9am and the other at 12 noon. Skies were very gray with a thick marine layer, and the ocean surface was fairly calm. A small ground swell from the west rolled by the boat without much notice. You wouldn’t necessarily have to have sharp eyesight like our deckhand Tasha to spot the first gray whales today like she did.   One of these two whales breached about five times and it was a massive beast. By the time we closed the mile or so distance the two whales were just migrating west (northbound) without any more fanfare.   Long-beaked common dolphins were scattered through the area and came over to the Condor to ride along with us. Perhaps 100 were seen during the morning trip.

The noon trip also left with overcast skies, but there were little pockets of sunlight here and there (called “sucker holes” by commercial fishermen in Alaska).   Again the common dolphins were everywhere and made waiting for the gray whales to re-surface very enjoyable. We also had one chubby harbor seal that did not dive as we passed slowly past it on the surface. The highlight of the second trip were gray whales moving east (southbound) and although there were no breaches like we had on the morning trip, these afternoon whales did just about everything else. There were two spectacular spy-hops, one done completely upside down. Before the two whales parted company, there was a lot of rolling around, slow tail-fluking, and other things only know to whales themselves. For us humans, it was a great and memorable show.

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

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