Adventure and Nature Lovers,
Let me tell you the story, but many of you won't believe what transpired today out in the Channel. That's why I'll post my photos of every trip on the CondorExpressPhotos.com site. We left the dock at 9am for the morning trip, and headed southeast to an area where we had some nice Humpbacks yesterday. (For those of you that don't know, this is the beginning of the northbound Gray Whale season, but I digress). As Captain Mat Curto steered a course for this “hot spot,” the skies were lightly overcast, and the sea surface was extremely smooth and calm. No trace of the fog that had been in the forecast possibilities. Sure enough, with the sharp eyes of Captain Dave Beezer and Deck Hand Matt Rollings, it was not long until we saw Humpback spouts all over the place. Three of the dozen or so Humpies made a bee-line for the Condor Express and proceeded to provide a wonderful close encouter. At one point, one of these full grown animals spyhopped half way out of the water in slow motion and within 10 feet of the boat…much to the delight of the gentleman who happened to be standing in that exact spot near the lower deck railing. (If that was you, check the photos tomorrow). And so it went for an hour or so until we had to go back to the Harbor for our noon trip.
The noon trip had 100 passengers, so the “pressure” was on Captains Mat and Dave to produce an encore performance with the friendly Humpbacks. Out we went on the noon adventure…our course heading was aimed right where we left the friendly knobby headed monsters. At the time I was thinking, “Gee, it will be hard to get any better sightings than we had this morning.” But no sooner did I have these thoughts than we reached the Humpback grounds only to find, you guesed it, 5.1 Orcinus orca (Killer Whales)! Now I say “5.1 Orcas” so as to not exaggerate. There were, in fact, 6 total animals that included 5 adults and one very very tiny calf. The calf appeared extremely small as it swam alongside the much larger black and white mother whale. The Orcas tolerated our existence in there oceanic space. It was a tightly packed pod, moving in a relatively straight line, at about 6 knots, toward Point Conception. After an hour of great looks and good photos, we turned around and went back out the see the Humpbacks again. Several were breaching, pect slapping and tail-throwing out in the distance. Wow!
On the way back to the harbor we encountered 1,000 Long-Beaked Common Dolphins (in two groups of 500 animals each)
WHAT A DAY!
Whale count summary:
3 Humpbacks – close encounter (at least a dozen in the immediate area)
3 Humpbacks – another 6 or 8 all around us (some breaching, some pect slapping, some tail throwing…at a distance)
6 Killer Whales
1000 Common Dolphins
C'mon out and catch the show.
Call 888-77WHALE or 805-882-0088 to book your trip.
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In addition to the expert crew on the Condor Express with over 35 years of experience, Channel Islands Naturalist Corps volunteer naturalists, representatives from the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and National Park, are usually on board and available to answer your questions during the trip.
Best fishes and have a WHALE of a day!
Bob Perry Condor Express