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Beautiful Santa Cruz Island yields lots of blue whales and dolphins

Image: Beautiful potato Harbor on Santa Cruz Island was close to the action zone.

2024 06-14 SB Channel 

Flag Day  🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

There was no wind today. Seas were calm except for a small bump coming from winds to the far west. There were some high clouds for most of the day with spots of sunshine at the island and back in town. There was still activity at the krill hotspot on the East End of Santa Cruz Island. Sightings for the day included: 9+ giant blue whales, 1100 common dolphins and one ocean sunfish (Mola mola). The crew also removed 2 separate, deflated, floating, Mylar balloons from the ocean surface. 

We found two areas with common dolphins. The first spot was just 2 miles from the harbor. It was a very small group and it was widely spaced out so that at one time you just saw one dolphin here and another one there. The second group was much larger and it was in the whale hotspot. There were some hungry gulls with the dolphins, and both birds and mammals were hunting baitfish near the surface (while the sub-surface krill was being consumed by whales).

The big whale hotspot featured only one species today, the giant blue. (It’s a tough life but someone has to live it).  We closely watched 9 beasts, and there were just a few additional spouts in the distance. The first couple of whales were good tail flukers. The next several whales were closer to the island and were much larger. As we were watching, a small ocean sunfish (Mola mola) suddenly breached and surprised everyone. The last whale we watched was a huge adult. 

After the last sighting, Captain Dave and the crew took us on a tour of beautiful Potato Harbor, which you can see in the photograph above. 

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. 

Bob Perry 

Condor Express, and 

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