2022 10-20 SB Channel
Blue skies and rippled glass seas seemed to get the wildlife and whale watchers motivated. It was a day with so many marine mammal and sea bird species we lost and accurate count for whales. We closely watched 18++ humpback whales, 6000 long-beaked common dolphins, 400 short-beaked common dolphins, 1 Minke whale and 200 California sea lions.
On a southerly heading, the long-beaked common dolphin herds began in earnest about 9 miles offshore, which kept us north of The Lanes. Among the first groups of dolphins, we crossed paths with a pod of highly acrobatic short-beaked common dolphins. The rest of the trip found us with huge numbers of long-beaks especially on hot spots around the concentrations of birds and whales.
At the 9 mile point we also encountered our first humpback whales. There were five in the immediate area, some were ¼ mile from each other. Three of them breached in succession…the first seemed to ignite the second and so forth. Not far away were 4 more whales in a tight social group. There was a bit of vocalization and some chasing (were they chasing food or each other?). A close by pair were engaged in rolling around, sideways swims and pec slapping. Two more in the distance breached. A trio with 1 adult breacher and 2 others chasing around was encountered. Captain Dave estimated watching 18 humpbacks with at least 18 more in the distance.
The crew picked up one floating, deflated, Mylar balloon.
On the way home we slowed for 2 more humpback. A Minke whale popped up for a few breaths.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and