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Clear water, clear skies, lots of dolphins, lots of bait, and the speckled whale, again.

2022 08-30-SB Channel

Skies were blue and so was the clear water, at least offshore. A light breeze wafted gently across the Channel. Captain Devin and the crew took a path out to the NOAA East Channel Buoy then ran northwest to a mid-Channel location off El Capitan, then home again. Sightings today included 1 humpback whale and 3000 long-beaked common dolphins.

The groups and larger pods of common dolphins came into our visual range starting just a mile off Leadbetter. More groups were seen as we searched the area around The Buoy for whales. Devin called attention to the fact that the water was clear and at least 25 large schools of surface anchovies were clearly visible today. Many of these schools attracted dolphin and sea bird feeding. And finally, at the mid-Channel/El Capitan spot, a humpback whale was found feeding on the bait balls too.

The whale was CRC-198465 again, the “speckled whale” with lots of circular barnacle scars. We’ve been seeing this individual almost daily since August 17. Our observations of the whale started slow as it was shy, at first, but then settled in with us. It made several close approaches to the Condor Express including a wonderful, close, spyhop. There were also several slo-mo fluking-up episodes which were both dramatic and fun to watch.

On the way home, more dolphins including a megapod.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

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