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Four cetacean species on a mirror glass sea

(Above: Bottlenose dolphin mother and calf; near Santa Cruz Island)

2022 12-30 SB Channel

There was a bit of rain on and off today with (naturally) overcast conditions. Seas were mirror glass. Sightings were great: 55 Risso’s dolphins, 35 offshore bottlenose dolphins, 1 huumpback whale, and 1 gray whale.

After running south across the Channel we spotted and watched a mixed-species group of offshore bottlenose dolphins and Risso’s dolphins near Pelican Bay, Santa Cruz Island. Both species had numerous calves with them. The bottlenose did a bit of bow riding and we had great looks at both species.

About ½ mile away a breaching humpback whale had us turn and go to it. On the scene it was a juvenile and it proceeded to do a couple of nice chin-slaps as we enjoyed watching this animal.

Captain Dave and the crew discussed the fascinating, Hollywood-like history of Pelican Bay, as we made a slow spin around the cove. Moving east from Pelican, we located a single southbound gray whale near Cavern Point. It was businesslike and kept focused on its migratory path.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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