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Calm post-storm seas...lots of fun humpbacks and dolphins

2022 11-04 SB Channel

We moved southeast through the Summerland oil platforms under mostly sunny skies and calm seas. Our path would continue south to The Lanes and back. Sightings for the trip included: 3 humpback whales, 1 Minke whale and 3000 long-beaked common dolphins.

Near the previously mentioned platforms we followed a lone Minke whale through several breathing cycles. Great looks were had by all.

Further south a long line of dolphins came to play around the boat, and everyone enjoyed this special quality time interaction. As we dolphin-watched, deckhand and 2nd Captain, Kelly, spotted several spouts in the near distance. There were, in fact, 3 individual humpback whales spotted and watched.

Humpback 1 was a juvenile slowly moving south. We would encounter this whale later in the trip. As we did with all three whales, Captain Devin followed at a safe distance, and our observations were great.

Humpback 2 was an adult slowly moving east. Behind us we noted humpback 1 also bending its course to the east.

Humpback 3, another adult, moved east too. But it was soon joined by humpback 2. The temporarily pair found a big floating kelp paddy and got fully engaged in kelping for at least 20 minutes. They both enjoyed using their long pectoral flippers to move the kelp around and tear it up a bit. The humpback pair moved apart and whale 2 continued kelping…moving from one kelp patch to the next.

We encountered a hot spot full of actively feeding dolphins and sea birds. The pair reunited and made a slow pass through the anchovy school, feeding sub-surface.

On the way home we found another large pod of dolphins to punctuate today’s amazing sightings.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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