Image: A friendly Minke whale
2023 07-17 SB Channel
No fog. Just a perfect, sunny and glassy day. And if that wasn’t perfect enough, the water was exceptionally clear throughout our travels today. Sightings were amazing: 5000 long-beaked common dolphins, 1 ocean sunfish (Mola mola), 2 Minke whales, and 7 humpback whales.
The region was festooned with dolphins, starting just a mile or two outside the harbor. Pods large and small were around us everywhere we went…often as far as the eye could see. At the two mile point we found our first three humpbacks, a single and a pair. One surfaced right next to the Condor express and did it twice!
Captain Devin and the crew then moved east through even more dolphins. Two single humpbacks were watched. We continued east and ended up with some amazing sightings south of the Summerland oil rigs. In addition to the aforementioned plethora of dolphins, we watched a humpback rise from the depths and make a close pass…greatly enhanced by the spectacular water clarity. We also had some nice, albeit quick, looks at a medium-small ocean sunfish (Mola mola).
At this point we were greeted by a pair of adult Minke whales. The came up close (in clear water) and stayed around the Condor Express for 45 minutes absolutely mugging us. We saw rolling around, some chin-lifts and heard some grunting vocalizations.
On the way home, another humpback and more dolphins.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and