Fresh breeze, fresh whales, fresh dolphins.

2021 06-27 SB Channel

It was a bit bumpy near the beach, but once out into deep water things smoothed a bit. The wind held off until just before noon, and with the breeze came stunning sunny blue skies. Sightings included: 1 humpback whale, 1 Minke whale, 1000 long-beaked common dolphins, 25 California sea lions and 50 offshore bottlenose dolphins.

Our friend Mark did it again and spotted the first whale of the day around 1025 am. It was a Minke whale and a pretty cooperative one at that. Sometimes Minkes, as beautiful as they may be, can be elusive. While enjoying the Minkes, a pod of 100 or so common dolphins joined the mix.

Perhaps an hour later our humpback whale was sighted. It had nice surface times, typical down times (5 – 7 minutes) and made a couple of very close approaches to the Condor Express. Whale lovers on the bow had a great meet-and-greet experience…not to mention: whelfies! The area had numerous common dolphins as well as hungry brown pelicans. The sooty shearwaters were there, but had a difficult time flying since they were completely stuffed with anchovies.

At 1205 pm, then again at 1259 pm, separated by at least nautical miles, our deckhand and expert with the gaff, Devin, retrieved 2 identical red heart-shaped Mylar balloons from the ocean surface. I am always tempted to rant about these balloons, but, once again, I’m trying to practice self-control. Wish me luck!

The next pod of dolphins was a bit larger, was mixed with quite a few sea lions, and was filled with mothers and calves…a nursery pod! If you’ve never seen anything before, some great looks at tiny, football-sized dolphin calves will change you forever.

Twenty minutes or so after the nursery pod, a spread-out group of 50 offshore bottlenose dolphins came our way. They were not particularly aerial today, but seemed to focus on surfing our boat waves as well as the west swells kicked up by the wind.

300 or more common dolphins, in numerous small groups, rounded-out our observations.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

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