Image: Purple sailor (Velella velella) shoals.
2023 6-16 SB Channel
Another great, super calm and glassy day with a high stratus layer. Captain Dave and the crew ran to the west and located the same productive area as reported yesterday: about 6 miles south of Elwood Beach. Sightings included: 4000 long-beaked common dolphins, 4+ humpback whales and abundant shoals of the floating purple sailor jellies. (No ocean sunfish (Mola mola) seen today).
During the first leg of the trip, moving west towards the eventual hot spot, we passed lots of purple sailors and saw TWO dolphins. A pair of dolphins separated from any visible pod is uncommon. Like yesterday, there were countless surface schools of northern anchovies.
On station the dolphin numbers quickly increased to several thousand and the large mega pods were seen everywhere in the area. There were 4 single humpback whales here, and additional spouts to the west which we did not have time to investigate. We had one very close breach off our bow. We saw a few instances of sideways lunging surface feeding. One individual made a direct and friendly approach to the Condor Express, passed under us, and moved slowly away.
You never know what mother nature has in store.
Condor Express, and