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Good Minke whales and 2 species of dolphins

2022 03-08 SB Coast

Two trips left the dock today, at 9am and 12 noon. The morning run experienced a bit of residual bump from overnight winds. By noon things along the coast were very smooth and nice. Sightings for the day included: 4 Minke whales, 2 coastal bottlenose dolphins, 1700 long-beaked common dolphins and 300 California sea lions.

The morning trip started fast with wonderful looks at 2 bottlenose dolphins right off the harbor breakwater. Captain Devin moved the boat slowly along the coast in a westerly direction (which is how migrating gray whales go northbound in the southern California bight). After finding some scattered small groups of common dolphins, he did a 180° turn to keep the wind and swells behind us. Near the harbor we got fleeting looks at 2 shy Minke whales. One was clearly much larger than the other and was perhaps the largest Minke whale we’ve seen.

Noon brought calm seas. Running west, we watched many more, and larger, pods of common dolphins. When we were past Platform Holly, we saw a huge hot spot full of diving seabirds and at least 1500 feeding common dolphins. Sea lions were also taking advantage of the feast. On the way back we watched 2 additional Minke whales that were much more cooperative than their morning cousins. These had long surface times and made a direct, friendly approach to the Condor Express on one of those surface events.

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

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