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A Zillion Dolphins and Lots More

Masses of sooty shearwaters surround a humpback whale out on the grounds today. photo:

A Zillion Dolphins and Lots More

I’ve been actively engaged is studying California marine life since 1969 and I’ve never seen so many dolphins as today.  There was literally a river of long beaked common dolphins several hundred meters wide and stretching on for many many miles, and then there were other herds inside and outside of our track.   Although there were a few feeding hot spots with sea lions, #dolphins and sea birds,  mostly this mega-mega-monster pod was traveling and searching.  First the were heading east, then after an hour or so they turned north, and about 34 minutes later the went west.  Finally, after having a very long and great session looking at a humpback whale for a long time, the dolphins headed east again. There were not too many dolphin calves observed today, but there was an inordinate amount of “hanky panky,” which I think they do out of nervousness when the Condor Express is going along slower than they’d like.  Go figure.  The marine layer once again dissolved and we had very warm, bright sun and a moderate breeze most of the day, making the expansive views of the various island and mainland points as spectacular as looking into the clear blue water at the marine life.  The single humpback was a good one with very short down times and not particularly shy.  It’s mighty spout was strewn hither and yon by the breeze and the whole scene was very fresh.  Small bands of marauding sea lions were mixed in with the dolphins and, per usual, their antics were very entertaining.  Oh, before I forget, a large ocean sunfish (Mola mola) approached the boat and I was so busy taking photos of it that at first I did not see the four other, smaller sunfish that were swimming along as a squadron formation.  It was a spectacular day.

I’ll post the photos from today’s adventure sometime tomorrow.

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

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