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Dense fog does not deter epic sightings

Image: Humpback, upside down during an “El Roll-O”

2023 07-01 SB Channel

The stratus layer hit the deck and it was near zero visibility fog all day until late in the trip when it lifted a hundred feet or so. Seas were mill pond glass flat. Somehow, in the fog, Captain Dave and his crew put together some phenomenal numbers and behaviors: 6 humpback whales and 2500 long-beaked common dolphins.

Our sightings began south of Goleta Bay when we crossed paths with several small pods of dolphins with 40 – 50 animals each. From this starting point we headed east, past Platform Habitat, where our first of 2 legitimate megapods of dolphins were watched…at least 1000 each. The first megapod produced some whales.

It started off with 3 single whales, followed by a pair. The 3rd individual did a bit of vocalizing and rolling around (see today’s featured image). About ½ mile later another adult humpback was the show stopper. This animated and aerial beast breached 4 or 5 times amidst episodes of chin-slapping, pec-slapping, upside down pec-slapping, and swimming around on its side (while continuing to slap its long pectoral flipper). The “grand finale” was a monster breach right next to the boat.

On the way home, as the fog barely lifted a bit, we watched the second dolphin megapod.

You never know what mother nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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Jul 04, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

The flip side of pec slapping is a rare treat!

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