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Five cetacean species today!

Image: A wonderful friendly Minke whale.

2023 04-16 SB Coast

The morning and noon trips were kept cool by a high stratus layer which burned off to clear skies just prior to the afternoon adventure. Seas were calm without much wind. Sightings included: 2 humpback whales, 1 Minke whale, 18 Dall’s porpoise, 4 gray whales and 28 inshore bottlenose dolphins. The diversity of cetaceans was amazing today.

Right off the bat crew member Anna spotted a single juvenile humpback whale to get the 9a trip inaugurated. It was about 3 miles south of Leadbetter and following it was no problem as it was slowly moving ahead in a semi-logging state. Meanwhile, a very friendly Minke whale circled the boat and stayed around, giving wonderful looks, for quite a while. Later a stealthy group of about a dozen Dall’s porpoise were encountered with fleeting looks. About ¼ mile west brought yet another young humpback whale, and it, too, was logging.

The mid-day excursion brought us 8 or so bottlenose dolphins which we followed from the harbor entrance to Leadbetter. South of the dolphins was another half dozen or so Dall’s…again, not particularly interested in the Condor Express today. On the edge of the Mesa kelp beds we found and watched a huge female gray whale with her tiny calf.

A large pod of 20 or more coastal bottlenose dolphins kicked-off the afternoon adventure and we followed from Hope Ranch to More Mesa. Up near the Bacara another mother and calf gray whale were watched steadily cruising west.

You never know what mother nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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