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Hot Spot in The Flats

2016 04-09 SB Channel

The Flats.  Springtime.  Something magical happens every year to generate large masses of northern anchovies.  Whether they are up on the surface or forming a bait ball down deep, the predators can be counted on being there.  Today they were up and a huge hot spot was observed on a very calm sea surface in the rain.  These hot spots always attract dolphins (over 1,000 reported today), sea lions,  lots of sea birds, and fairly often both Minke whales (none reported today) and humpback whales (seven reported today) will feed there too.

The trip started with two humpback whales on the edge of the Flats as we approached from the northwestern flanks.  This pair had 6 – 8 minute down times and as we watched them, a cluster of tall spouts was spotted about a mile further east and into the Flats from our position.  Upon arrival we found the aforementioned hot spot and it was a good sized one.  There were at least 1,000 long-beaked common dolphins and perhaps as many as 5 additional humpback whales feeding in the milieu.  You might say it was a hot hot spot.  One humpback whale threw its tail several times as icing on the cake.  It rained on and off all day long, but this did not dampen the spirits of our whale watchers or our whales.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express

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