9 humpback whales and nearly 3000 dolphins plus turquoise water
2015 06-03 SB Channel
Milky turquoise water color pervaded the nearshore regions and returned to a typical oceanic blue out 4 miles or so. Even so, there were occasional streaks of this discoloration. I suspect it is some species of phytoplankton that is blooming and will attempt to grab a plankton sample tomorrow if all conditions are good. Water temperatures offshore are 62.7F, and today was overcast (again) with only a very slight bump from the west. Little spots of blue sky opened up temporarily here and there as the day progressed.
Just past Platform Alpha we found one slow moving humpback whale and about 50 long-beaked common dolphins. This assemblage was moving west and the whale was all business…no deep dives, no tail flukes, one spout at a time, and 4 or 5 minutes down. We watched for 20 minutes and then moved out towards Platform Habitat. Along the route to Habitat there was another pod of long-beaked common #dolphins numbering around 100.
1 mile north of Habitat we located a moveable feast. There were 6 humpback #whales in this spot, and around 2,500 common dolphins. The whales made long dives and had short surface times, but there were so many of them on all sides of the Condor Express, that there was plenty of entertainment/education going on. Among the recognizable humpback contingent we saw Scarlet again, and a mother whale with her calf. We also noted a single breach about ½- mile east of our hot spot.
The hot spot was dynamic and whales came and went while the whole amorphous blob moved west then north then east again. At least 2 more “new” humpbacks joined the club. During this phase of the excursion about 100 of the dolphins kicked it into high gear and ran west in a “stampede.” By this time is was getting more sunny and a light breeze was starting up from the west.
The seabird species composition was different today. There were nearly zero brown pelicans even though the elegant terns were crashing on the dolphins and sooty shearwaters were there diving. A few gulls also looked around for easy pickin’s. The magnitude of all this life, all around the boat, all day, was amazing.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express
PS I’ll get today’s photos posted online asap. Stay tuned.