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5 Species of Cetaceans in One Trip

A large adult Risso’s dolphin was among a dozen or so seen interacting with offshore bottlenose today.

5 Species of Cetaceans in One Trip

We watched 3 humpback whales closely but there were plenty of other spouts around the area.   The bait was near the sea floor and hence the down times were long-ish.  The skies were blue and so was the water…so once again the clarity of the ocean enhanced all of the sightings.  Wow.   We found and played with both species of common dolphins today.  The long beaked species was on the coast side, and the short beaked species was close to Santa Cruz.  There were at least 1,000 of each species.  Per usual, the short beaked common dolphins were highly animated.  The did a ton of leaping high and at one point several were tail walking like Flipper did on TV.  Most of the black vented shearwaters and other marine birds like the red necked phalaropes were sitting on the water resting.   After the long beaked commons and all the humpbacks, we made course for the world famous Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island.  Conditions near the island were spectacular and the Cave was Mill Pond flat and glassy.  After a run down the west end, north face of Santa Cruz we headed back across the Santa Barbara Channel.  We did not get very far off the island before we encountered a mixed group of those big offshore bottlenose dolphins AND Risso’s dolphins together.  It was a great sight to see.  This gave us a scorecard of 5 different species of cetaceans today.  Clear, calm warm and great.  I’ll post the photos from today online sometime tomorrow.

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

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