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Channel conditions sublime. Whales near recored numbers again!

Image: anchovies spill out of the mouth of this humpback with seawater

2023 10-06 SB Channel

More Santa Ana conditions in southern California kept it hot in town and warm on the water. Seas were calm. Skies were sunny. Wind was negligible. We kept our near record-breaking sightings again today: 19+ humpback whales, 5000 long-beaked common dolphins, 400 California sea lions and 1 Minke whale. The crew also picked up 3 floating, deflated, Mylar balloons from the ocean…the first we’ve seen in quite a while!

Common dolphins were abundant all day, as has been the case for the past several days. As we neared the hot zone (about 6 miles south of Hope Ranch), the pod sized increased…some were into the thousands of individuals.

Among the huge pods in the zone, whale sightings began with a single. We moved to the west a bit and found the Mother Lode: an initial sighting of 12, and then a group of 6. Hundreds of California sea lions were in the mix. One instance of surface lunge-feeding was observed, but we believe most of the action was sub-surface today.

Captain Dave deviated away from whales for a short trip to the world’s longest sea cave, the Painted Cave, on the western end of Santa Cruz Island. On our way out, not far from the island, a Minke whale passed by and we all had a brief look.

On the way home a pod of several hundred dolphins went charging to the Condor Express as we moved at a high speed on the homeward leg of our day. The proceeded to enjoy some wake riding, jumping and general dolphin fun stuff.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store,

Bob Perry Condor Express, and

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