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Dolphins, ideal conditions and 17 humpback whales.

Image: a juvenile humpback whale breaching.

2023 05-05 SB Coast

Captain Dave and the crew ran a 9a and a 12n trip with wonderful sightings. Seas were calm, skies were sunny and blue, yet along the distant coastal mountains on could see active rain squalls. Total sightings for the day: 17 humpback whales and 600 long-beaked common dolphins.

The sea surface was flat glass for the morning excursion. Dave and the crew headed out beyond the Summerland platforms where a hot spot was spotted. This turned out to be several large pods of common dolphins actively feeding on the surface. They were surrounded by equally active but noisy seabirds. After some great dolphin time, we moved west.

About 3 miles off Hope Ranch a single, large adult whale was located and watched. It fluked up nicely but had 10 min down times…perhaps feeding deep below the surface.

At noon the surface developed some small ripples. We moved to the far west and, just past Platform Holly, we watched a single whale do some side-lunges on the surface and consume thousands of anchovies. Action 4 miles away brought us 6 miles south of Elwood where spouts were abundant. Our first stop was on an area with around 12 whales feeding. One breached about ½ mile away. Some of the whales came close to the Condor Express. Dive times were now around 2 minutes.

On the way home we watched 3 additional whales.

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

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