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Humpback whales are abundant. So are the dolphins.

2022 10-21 SB Channel

Captain Dave reported dense fog for the first hour after which it gradually dissipated. By 1pm we had blue skies. The sea surface was flat and glassy all day. Sightings were phenomenal: 10+ humpback whales, 4000 long-beaked common dolphins, 40 offshore bottlenose dolphins and 200 California sea lions.

Offshore acrobatics and aerial activities by a pod of non-coastal/beach-loving bottlenose dolphins got the cetacean part of the trip started. We were just 4 miles south of the harbor. Some of the high-flying dolphins were 10 – 15 feet above sea level.

The common dolphin sightings persisted all day, starting around 8 mile south of the harbor with mega pods near the northbound shipping lanes hot spot. This hot spot, about a 2 or 3-mile circle, held all the whale sightings. Although no specific breaching, tail-throwing or pec slapping was witnessed on our watch, bursts of high-speed swimming did occur at times. It could not be substantiated that this was competitive behavior.

Dave mentioned that we closely watched 10 or more humpbacks and the surrounding areas, ¼ to ½ mile from us, had at least that many more whales.

The crew retrieved a single balloon, then a big 10-12 balloon cluster, from the ocean surface to help protect marine animals.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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