Image: A close approach by a pair of friendly humpback whales
2023 10-20 SB Channel
Captain Devin described today’s conditions: “A fog sandwich.” There was very dense fog at first, then it lifted to a medium-elevation marine layer, only to return as dense fog for the coastal cruise back to the harbor. Nonetheless, the crew made great sightings and we closely watched: 1500 long-beaked common dolphins and 4 humpback whales. A single Mylar balloon was removed from the ocean surface where it was floating and deflated.
Three or four miles offshore the fog lifted and we found about 500 widely-scattered dolphins mostly occurring in singles, pairs and very small groups. On the far edge of this dolphin zone, we watched 2 humpback whales. The sighting began when the first whale took a shining to the Condor Express and its fans. It mugged the boat for over an hour, including: rolling around in our jet wash, and moving from side-to-side a few inches off our hull. It looked like it was going to finally leave us alone, but returned quickly with a second whale in tow. The pair continued the mugging together. (See today’s photo for an example).
We continued northwest to an area about 3 miles south of Naples Reef. Here we watched a large, actively feeding dolphin pod. In its midst, a pair of whales was sighted. (Two more were in the near distance but we did not have time to watch them).
You never know what Mother Nature has in store,
Bob Perry Condor Express, and