Friday, September 9, 2016 – Captain Eric and the crew of the Condor Express took a nice ride on calm seas with a thin stratus layer overhead and ended up in the mouth of the Santa Cruz Channel with ample time for delphies. In all, 2 humpback whales, 2,000 long-beaked common dolphins, 10 Dall’s porpoise and many hundreds of California sea lions came near the boat and had great looks at the captive humans.
The sightings got under way with a small group of dolphins near the 50-fathom curve. Per usual, they rode every wave whether it was produced by the wind, swells or Condor Express. After some nice sightings and “delphies” (dolphin selfies) Eric continued on course for the Santa Cruz Channel.
Life got interesting again as we approached The Lanes and 10 extremely friendly Dall’s porpoise were seen slashing the water all around the boat, and then they came over and rode our bow. This does not happen very often and was a wonderful treat today.
From The Lanes to Santa Cruz Island, scattered small groups of dolphins were encountered ranging in size from a few dozen to 100 or so . About 1 mile north of The Cave a mega-pod of at least 1,500 dolphins was encountered. Also in this vicinity we saw two huge mega-mobs of California sea lions. From this hot spot Eric headed west along The Ledge and across the mouth of the Santa Cruz Channel. A breaching humpback whale was spotted a few miles ahead.
The final hot spot consisted of two humpback whales and a load of dolphins. A few more sea lions were attracted to this spot and sea birds were active in the water and in the air above. Another fine time for delphies.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express