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Endless dolphins, 6 humpbacks, plenty of sea lions.

Image: A humpback whale breached near the boat.

2023 07-22 SB Channel

The high stratus was relentless but for a few small blue patches that the Alaskans call “sucker holes. Captain Dave and the crew traversed the Channel in search of wildlife, and this is what they we closely watched: 6 humpback whales, 3000 long-beaked common dolphins and 500 California sea lions.

There was not much action until we were 5 miles south of Platform Holly in the western Channel. We came upon an endless stream of dolphins along with noisy seabirds, sea lions, and, finally a whale. The whale was embedded in the dolphin pods as they moved around in search of prey. At one point, this whale dove, then abruptly came up and surprised everyone with a very close breach (see today’s photo for an example).

Dave moved 4 or 5 miles further to the southeast and found another mass of mammal and bird activity. This time we watched a total of 4 more whales, the first pair was a bit more cooperative while the last 2 singles had long dive times.

On the way home we slowed a bit to watch yet another humpback, but did not stop on it due to the time.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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