Cetacean Bonanza (and Bob had a dental appointment) :-(


One of many dozen breaches by a wild humpback whale today. photo: Captain Dave’s iPhone


Cetacean Bonanza (and Bob had a dental appointment)  🙁

Sometimes you have to just take one for the team.  So like a good boy I kept my long standing dental hygiene appointment and missed the trip today.  Sure enough, Captain Dave calls me up in the afternoon and was a bit reluctant to give me the details needed to fill in our loyal readers.   It turns out Dave and the crew had one of the all time epic days of #whales watching in a long time.  Here is what Dave told me about the adventure.  Sea conditions were excellent, flat and calm.  There was little to no wind and the coastal stratus hung around a while to cut the glare on the water.  The ocean water itself remains very clear and blue in most areas.  So Dave pointed the Condor Express offshore towards San Miguel Island where we had a great blue whale adventure yesterday.  Not too far along the southwesterly heading the crew noticed a large splash in the distance that could have only come from one thing:  a breaching humpback whale.   Sure enough, when they got on the scene, the beast was still breaching and continued to breach another 30 or 40 times…nobody had time to count.  In between breaches, the humpback rolled around upside down and was generally having a great old time for itself.   After a long period of breathless whale watching, Dave had the boat surrounded by a large mega-pod of long beaked common dolphins.  He followed the “river of dolphins” further west until he noticed a wide area of larger splashing.   This area turned out to be, get this, a mixed pod of 75 or more Risso’s dolphins AND 50 or more large offshore bottlenose dolphins.  The offshore bottlenose love to leap and play and ride the bow of the Condor Express.  What was absolutely shocking was the fact that soon after the big offshores rode the bow, the Risso’s joined in the surfing contest themselves.   None of us had seen bow riding, friendly Risso’s before…perhaps we have the leadership of the bottlenose to thank.  All the humans on the boat were totally blown away by now, and it was getting time to think about heading back home.  But wait.  More giant splashed off in the distance.  This turns out to be a PAIR of breaching humpbacks that kept breaching for a long long time.  In between breaches, the pair come over and mugged the Condor Express so tight that Captain Dave was actually worried that passengers on the lower decks might get slapped by a pectoral fluke.  He backed the Condor slowly and carefully away several times, but the knobby headed beasts just kept coming back to play.   Just outside the Harbor, Dave called again…inshore bottlenose dolphins in the surf zone – our 5th species of cetacean today.  As much as I love having my teeth cleaned….

Special note about tomorrow:   the public whale watch will be from 100 pm to 530 pm due to a special morning charter.  Remember, sometime the humpbacks get even more frisky in the late afternoon.

You DEFINITELY never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express

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