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A hole in the fog brings magical mugging and more

2022 10-07 SB Channel

Fog, quite dense at times, settled-in across our neck of The Channel today. Later in the trip a “sucker hole” or sunshine oasis opened up and provided the visibility we needed. Sightings for the day included: 1 Minke whale, 3 humpback whales and 2000 long-beaked common dolphins.

About ½ mile south of Leadbetter Beach we encountered and adult Minke whale and watched it through 4 or 5 breathing cycles. It was a steady and predictable whale, which for this species is SPECIAL. Two miles further south brought us into our first small patches of dolphins.

Much later in the trip we had traversed the Channel and were located south of the NOAA East Channel Buoy area. We slowed to watch lots more dolphins and, at this point, we fortuitously entered the previously mentioned sunny spot. Among the many dolphins a single juvenile whale in travel mode became our first humpback sighting. A pair of large adults was watched soon thereafter, and the twosome mugged the Condor Express for 45 minutes. During this wonderful encounter we saw spy-hops, rolling, upside down swimming, pectoral flippers in the air, and heard quite a bit of trumpet vocalization.

On the way home we found a mega pod of dolphins that, at one point, took off on a high speed “stampede” run.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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