2022 08-09 SB Channel – Far West
Sightings were phenomenal. We were repetitively MUGGED. It was sunny all day. There was not much breeze but we had a bump on water until we passed Holly. Sightings included: 6 humpback whales (at least 6 more within binocular range), 3000 long-beaked common dolphins and 500 California sea lions.
There were a couple of small pods of dolphins scattered about as we left the harbor and hugged the shoreline. We made a quick stop for a dolphin meet-and-greet, then pressed further west. All the action today, including at least one major hot spot, was within a ¼ mile circle and 4 miles south of El Capitan.
The action began to bump up as we encountered several pods of dolphins with 100 or so animals each, then…a mega pod over 1000 strong…actively feeding. Our first 2 closely watched adult humpbacks were here. One of the pair moved away and the trailing whale kicked off a MUGFEST that went on for over an hour. Whale fans were agog with whale selfies (whelfies).
A third whale came into the zone and began mugging. It was a sub-adult with white pecs. Now we had both whales simultaneously mugging us. At one point all we could see was two massive knobby heads poking out from under the bow. We assumed one, or both, mugging whales were resting in the “tunnel” between our twin hulls. As the action moved about 100 yards north, additional whale spouts were seen in the distant north.
An additional (not distant) whale joined the hot spot. On the way home, about 1 mile north of Holly, we met another adult whale that we watched breach twice with a lot of trumpet vocalization echoing across the water.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com