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Good humpback looks, lots of dolphins including the short-beaked species.

Image: A short-beaked common dolphin does some tail-walking

2023 07-10 SB Channel

We experienced much improved conditions today with blue skies and calm seas all day. Captain Devin and the crew took the Condor Express across The Channel to the waters in the Santa Cruz Island and Painted Cave vicinity. Sightings included: 4 humpback whales, 3500 long-beaked common dolphins and 500 short-beaked common dolphins.

We started attracting the attention of large pods of common dolphins in the area surrounding the NOAA East Channel Buoy. The 3rd pod was of the short-beaked species, not-so-frequent visitors to our region. This species tends to be highly animated and very aerial. We saw high-flying leaps and some tail-walking (see today’s photograph for an example). In this area we spotted our first whale, a small adult. It spent a lot of time on the surface and was in travel mode…heading west.

We continued south of The Buoy, again with large numbers of the long-beaked dolphin species all around. We watched a second adult whale that also had long surface times and was moving its location. Finally, we crossed The Lanes and, adjacent to The Cave, had great looks at a mother humpback with her calf.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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