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Glassy, overcast, and 4 species of cetaceans watched.

Image: an ocean sunfish (Mola mola) is shown hunting drifting gelatinous purple sailors (Velella velella).

2023 05-18 SB Channel

The ocean surface was mirror glass and skies were gray. Captain Dave and the crew took a southwesterly course that went into The Lanes, circled around the NOAA East Channel Buoy, and then came home. Sightings were spectacular: 6 humpback whales, 1 Minke whale, 25 Risso’s dolphins, 3 offshore bottlenose dolphins, 1 ocean sunfish (Mola mola), and carpets of floating purple sailor jellies (Velella velella).

Four miles southwest of the harbor we watched a pair of adult humpbacks that appeared to be feeding subsurface. While we watched, a single curious Minke whale made a couple of close passes by the Condor Express. A huge ocean sunfish (Mola mola) was seen feeding on purple sailor jellies (Velella velella).

Approximately 25 Risso’s dolphins, in two groups of a dozen that were in close proximity, were watched. Three offshore bottlenose dolphins were around the Risso’s. We moved into The Lanes and watched a single humpback.

As we turned to head home, we watched two single humpbacks. The second one threw its tail with gusto a few times. About 2 miles from the harbor we slowly drove by our last humpback without time to stop.

You never know what mother nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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