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Humpback honey hole with hundreds of sea lions, thousands of dolphins

Image: One of several hundred California sea lions seen today.

2023 09-28 SB Channel

What better way to go than holding a birthday party whale watch on the Condor Express? Thus, the whale watch trip today was approximately 3 hours long. We had mostly high stratus for the outbound leg, then patchy sun out on the whale and dolphin and sea lion grounds. Seas were a bit bumpy for the first 6 or 7 miles, then things calmed down as Captain Dave turned east, keeping the turbulence astern. Sightings for this short trip included: 9+ humpback whales, 4000 long-beaked common dolphins and 350+ California sea lions.

After a 1015a departure, we found a small pod of 50 dolphins at 1040a. We followed them through the swells and westerly wind chop and watch the marvelous mammals leap and jump and bust through the waves.

Just over an hour later we found ourselves in a very highly productive zone east of The Buoy. Our first area of exploration included 3 whales in travel mode, at least 1000 spread-out dolphins and sea lions.

Today was an epic day for sea lions in the zone. There were large mobs of 100, some a tad smaller with 50, then the rest with 10 – 25 animals. The were boat friendly and came by several times to crane their long necks out of the water and look at their fans on the Condor Express.

All the while, streams of scattered dolphins came and went. I saw one dolphin aggressively chase another dolphin by swimming a high-speed circle around the boat! Wow!

A short time later, as we continued east, we watched 4 or 5 more whales. They were among the dolphins and sea lions part of the time, and then seemed to strike off to the southeast on their own. More sea lions were in this mixture.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store,

Bob Perry Condor Express, and

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