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A fin whale/blue whale hybrid surrounded by loads of giant blues, dolphins and WOW!

2020 07-23 SB Channel

It was another day with a thin, high stratus layer and companion calm seas. We closely watched: 9+ giant blue whales, 1000 long-beaked common dolphins, 500 short-beaked common dolphins, and 1 confirmed blue-fin hybrid.

Long-beaked common dolphins started coming to the boat when we were only 2 miles offshore. At first the group sizes were small, less than a dozen sometimes. Later, near The Lanes, a mega pod of 1000 or more surrounded us. Here, too, we watched a herd of short-beaks go by.

After the dolphin encounters above, we moved west to a position about 4 miles north of the Santa Cruz Channel where the tall spouts were abundant.  One of the giant whales in the mix seemed to have a mixture of blue whale and fin whale characteristics. Photos were taken by our staff photographer and videographer Adam Ernster and sent to Alisa Schulman-Janiger, a researcher affiliated with the LA County Museum of Natural History. She informed us that the whale was indeed a hybrid. It’s DNA was sampled years ago to confirm this fact, and it was named “Flu.” The first reports of this individual go back to the early 2000’s and work done by Cascadia Research.

Exciting times!

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

Condor Express, and

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