A lunge feeding humpback whale breaks the surface. photo: Bob Perry Condor Express Photos
Humpbacks and Grays
We ran all three trips today and the total counts were as follows: 3,100 common dolphin sightings 9 gray whale sightings 4 humpback whale sightings 6 inshore bottlenose dolphins
Most of the gray whales were juveniles and pretty much went about their business of slowly migrating back to their Alaskan feeding grounds. However, on the 3pm trip one of a group of 3 gray whales breached four times near the boat and amazed everyone on board. Earlier, on the 9am and again at 12 noon, there was some surface lunge feeding on anchovies by the same two humpback whales. Anchovy schools were again very numerous and were being attacked by scattered marauding pods of common dolphins and herds of young, brash California sea lions. In fact, the same gang of sea lions stayed on a huge anchovy school and were watched alongside the humpback whales on both 9 and noon adventures. The lions were bold and scattered just at the last minute when the big knobby headed beasts broke the surface for air. More humpback spouts were seen off in the distance to the southwest. On the way back to the docks after the 3pm trip, a pod of 6 friendly inshore bottlenose dolphins rode the bow for about a mile.
All things considered it was a day with calm seas and a marine layer that moderated the illumination. I’ll post up the photos sometime before mid-week.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store! Bob Perry Condor Express