2021 08-15 SB Channel
Skies were sunny and bright all day. Seas were moderately calm and so was the wind. Our sightings today were also very good: 1 Minke whale, 3000 long-beaked common dolphins, 2 ocean sunfish (Mola mola), 100 California sea lions and 6+ humpback whales.
Small pods of common dolphins located us within 30 minutes of departure, and larger pods were encountered later. There was a “honey hole” hotspot full of life which I’ll talk about later, but most of the dolphins on this trip were involved.
Later in the morning we watched a semi-shy Minke whale (shy in comparison to yesterday’s encounter), and a few minutes later we enjoyed a jumping Mola mola. It was a small, dinner plate size, and breached 5 or 6 times. Cool!
Our “man-with-the-gaff,” deckhand Devin, retrieved a deflated helium Mylar balloon shaped and colored like a watermelon. Go figure. Yet another Mylar balloon was confiscated 20 minutes later and featured the highly decomposed characters from “Frozen.”
We spent the rest of the day at the aforementioned honey hole. From a distance we saw spout after spout in the middle of a huge dolphin feeding frenzy. On the scene we counted 6 individual whales including a mother with her calf. The feeding hotspot was also rich with California sea lions. The sea lions kept pace with this moveable feast and dove together in synchrony to harvest the subsurface feast with the whales and dolphins. Sometimes the whales were bunched up in close proximity, and at other times they went off a few hundred yards to richer pastures. It was a fabulous site.
We did pass a few more whales at a distance as we were on our track back to the harbor, but they are not included in the count.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com