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Breaching, high-speed Minke whales, thousands of dolphins, and more

2022 04-14 SB Coast

Two great trips today, 9a and 12n, both with good conditions. Sightings were fantastic, and the daily totals are: 2 Minke whales, 300 California sea lions, 6000 long-beaked common dolphins and 4 ocean sunfish (Mola mola).

A similar 6-mile by 2-mile area with small groups of common dolphins were found 2 ½ miles outside Santa Barbara Harbor. The groups were hunting, as evidenced by the numerous predatory sea birds throughout this area. Hundreds of sea lions were also seen feeding on both trips. Two different ocean sunfish (Mola mola) were also seen on each trip.

The Minke whale encounter happened during the morning trip about 3 mile south of Hope Ranch. One of two whales was seen breaching a couple of times at a distance, so much so that the crew thought, at first, it was a humpback. When we arrived on the scene, the pair of Minke’s began racing around, chasing each other, or “charging” to the east at very high speeds, exceeding 15 knots. As they raced, they frequently surfed the ocean swells and made a few runs past the Condor Express which thrilled their fans. It was a most unusual sighting.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry Condor Express, and

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