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Hundreds of Risso’s and bottlenose dolphins with humpbacks and gray whales too.

2022 01-26 SB Channel

Glorious sunny skies prevailed all day and the visibility was great. Seas were lightly bumpy from Santa Ana winds blowing to the far east. Sightings were phenomenal: 3 humpback whales, 1 gray whale, 250 Risso’s dolphins and 200 offshore bottlenose dolphins.

Not far from the harbor the crew retrieved 2 deflated, Mylar, helium balloons from the ocean surface to prevent harm to marine animals.

On our course towards the western end of Santa Cruz Island, our first mammal sightings took place in the separation area between the northbound and southbound shipping lanes. We intersected a mixed pod of Risso’s dolphins and offshore bottlenose dolphins. As the morning progressed, we’d see a lot more of these two different species but not together as much…although both were around the whale sightings. Both were friendly and frequently deviated from their course to pass by the Condor Express.

A pair of adult humpback whales (with bottlenose dolphins) were was watched. They swam a straight course to the south without much falderal. Soon a third humpback came by, a juvenile, but did not join up with the others. Great looks at all!

After heading further south, we found a lone adult southbound gray (heading east means migrating south in our neck of the bent coastline). It, too, wasn’t a performer, but had a regular, easy to follow, breathing cycle. Fun to see on such a bright sunny day.

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

Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

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