Report for Sunday, May 6, 2012
1 Blue Whale 4 Humpback Whales (more in the area) 750 Common Dolphins (in two pods) 10 Bottlenose Dolphins
It was “one of those” bright, sunny and calm days out on the Channel today. And the species diversity remained high, as it has for the past week. We ran up the coast, hugging the kelp, to More Mesa in hopes of encountering the last of the Gray Whale cow-calf pairs, but alas, we were not lucky in that regard today. But we did have a large pod of inshore Bottlenose Dolphins playing with us near the old abandoned light house. After the dolphins we headed south across the Channel to the sparkling waters of Limu (Sta Cruz Island). Our first sighting was a Blue Whale with its characteristic very tall, straight spout. We followed for a short time and had moderately good sightings, but the beast was running 15 minutes of down time on every dive. Moving east, we encountered Humpbacks almost immediately. Good sightings, short 4-5 minutes down. Incoming was a large pod of longbeak Common Dolphins heading east in the direction we wanted to go anyhow, so we followed, had wonderful looks, and enjoyed the comraderie as they “took us” to the next pair of Humpbacks. To make a long story short, we watched these two Humpies for at least an hour as they moved from one spot of krill to the next, stuffing their knobby faces like gluttons. Several close encounters presented the entire open mouth with baleen, pink soft palate, and krill jumping for their lives. This is what it is supposed to be like out on the wild ocean. I'll be posting up the photos from today's trip no later than Wednesday if you, or your associates, want to share the experience.
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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!