2021 08-22 SB Channel
The sea surface was lightly rippled and skies had a high stratus layer except for the trip home when the sun broke out. Sightings included 8+ humpback whales, 4000 long-beaked common dolphins, 2 coastal bottlenose dolphins and 12 California sea lions.
There were a lot of dolphins around starting at the 6 mile point, but not the record-breaking populations that we had the past two days. Sightings were great and, as often happens, following the dolphins led us to the whales.
All of the whales were a bit further offshore today, and concentrated in the same general area south west of the NOAA East Channel Buoy. We watched a single whale, followed by a pair, and then a group of 5+. One of the quintet members was Snowflake. This group spent hardly any time below the surface, and did exhibit some interesting behaviors such as rolling around, trumpet vocalizations, grunting, and half-hearted pectoral fin slapping. More spouts were seen in the distance.
A band of 12 sea lions stayed with the 5 whales and never left them. There were a few whale-pinniped interactions, and on the rare occasions when the whales sounded, the sea lions acted as “markers” for their location.