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An All-time Epic Experience with an Animated and Friendly Gray Whale !!

Saturday, January 14, 2012 Colleagues, I had the great fortune of being on board today with my camera bag in hand.  I've been on the water my whole life, and although I am still a young man, this was one of the all time best.  Picture this:  a mill pond mirror glassy surface, grey with very little glare due to the thin overcast.  Unbelievable visibility from Boney Ridge in Malibu to Point Arguello, and all four SB Channel Islands clearly visible.  Add to this silvery environment a plethora of cetaceans and fish, and one extreme encounter with a Gray Whale, and, well, you get the picture.  I hope I got the picture myself, and hope to have the 40+ GB of images I shot today processed and posted for your viewing enjoyment by tomorrow night, if possible.  Meanwhile, you'll just have to make due with the following counts of animals we observed closely: 4 Gray Whales (3 in the Santa Cruz Passage, and that “other” one…) 1,000 Risso's Dolphins 800 Common Dolphins

10 bow-riding Dall's Porpoise (many breaches observed) 5,000+ California Sea Lions 

1 Blue Shark

1 small finless Mola mola Again, the Risso's were carrying on, breaching, racing, acting wild and pestering the heck out of the single Gray Whale.  Meanwhile, with playful behavior or minor annoyance, the Gray interacted with the Risso's, Commons and Sea Lions by rolling around, spy-hopping continually while upside down, slapping its tail and showing off its fat pectoral fins.  It made at least 3 or 4 runs towards the bow of the Condor Express, and could clearly be seen in the crystal clear blue water.  What a day!

Call 888-77WHALE or 805-882-0088 to book your trip. Plan ahead for MLK day, Monday, January 16th – we will run a special Monday trip. Visit our website: ..or to view images from today's adventure as well as previous trips: Like us on Facebook,

In addition to the expert crew on the Condor Express with over 35 years of experience, Channel Islands Naturalist Corps volunteer naturalists, representatives from the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and National Park, are usually on board and available to answer your questions during the trip.

Best fishes and have a WHALE of a day!

Bob Perry Condor Express

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