Blue whale bonanza! (…and more)
2020 08-09 SB Channel – Southwest
The world’s largest gluttons gathered near beautiful Santa Rosa Island for yet another day of sub-surface feasting. Skies were clear and sunny most of the day, and seas were flat and calm. The calm water coupled with sunlight on the banquet grounds made for wonderful viewing of 2 different species of giant whales and 2 species of dolphins. The list: 20+ giant blue whales, 1 fin whale, 20 Risso’s dolphins, and 1000 long-beaked common dolphins.
Common dolphins were closely watched surface feeding on anchovies starting only 1 mile offshore. Additional scattered groups were seen all day. Two nice, friendly pods of Risso’s dolphins were also watched; one in the morning, north of the lanes, and another closer to the mainland on the way home.
As we crossed The Lanes and moved closer to Carrington Point, Santa Rosa Island, tall spouts appeared to sprout from the ocean in front of us with even more to the west. Our initial sighting included at least 10 giant blues and one very friendly juvenile fin whale. After carefully moving from whale to whale, Captain Colton moved the Condor Express further west where 10+ additional giant blues were watched. The total number we watched closely was estimated to be between 20 and 24, and many additional whales were present close by. The second group of blues showed their tails on almost every dive. In the mix today was that unique whale featured in yesterday’s report…the one missing a large portion of its tail fluke. Several photographers on the boat today snapped good photos of this individual which should appear on our website.
In addition to the dolphins mentioned above, the trip home was calm and sunny. Everyone basked in the glow of having seen one of nature’s most spectacular sights, one that only occurs in a few places in the world. I should mention that one of our passengers, I don’t know his real name, but let’s just call him “Dino” for the purposes of this report, spotted a humpback whale not too far from the harbor. This whale watcher is known to have keen visual abilities and spends much of the trip with his binoculars glued to his eyes. In fairness, we did not spend time locating, the whale nor did we have time to stop on it as we were already running a bit late.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com