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Kelping humpbacks and over 3 thousand dolphins

2018 08-15 SB Channel

The action today took place north of the famous Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island and just south of The Lanes.  Sightings included 2 humpback whales, 3000 long-beaked common dolphins, and 2 Mola mola (ocean sunfish).  It was sunny all day with a light afternoon breeze.

The first whale was a large adult specimen that was following dolphins as many of them do when feeding.  It seems to us that the dolphins are quick and agile.  They locate and isolate bait balls (sometimes sub-surface, as today) and then the whales follow along to devour the whole school of fish in one or two passes. It’s kind of a team effort.

The second whale started off about a mile east of the first one.  It was much smaller; a juvenile. Both tail flukes and pectorals were white.  The small one slowly joined the big one and the two paid some nice, friendly visits to their fans on board the Condor Express.  The smaller whale was especially friendly.  It also did quite a bit of kelping (see photos), and made additional passes under and around the boat.

Two ocean sunfish (Mola mola) were also seen today as they swam along the surface of the ocean with their tall dorsal fin partially exposed.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and

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