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Kids ocean field trip yields spectacular cetacean sights

2020 02-26 SB Coast (Charter)

This report is from a single trip today that left the dock at 10 AM with a group of eager young students who were participating in a formal marine science/ecology cruise. Although whales and dolphins were not a guaranteed part of the curriculum, nonetheless we had spectacular sightings which must have surely greatly enhanced their education. Sightings included 3 Pacific gray whales, 4 humpback whales, and 200 long-beaked common dolphins. The gray whales we’re all big adults and all heading northbound. The water was crystal clear and the whales were visible practically 100% of the time. We were not very far off the harbor entrance.

Using binoculars, the Condor Express staff located an activity center further south. This turned out to be a mix of four humpback whales along with a small but active group of dolphins. The dolphins were busy chasing surface schools of northern anchovies. This could be seen clearly because of the super water clarity. Soon enough the Whales closed-in on the bait and all the animals shared a lunch. There were numerous instances of surface lunge-feeding, often very close to the boat! In addition to towing nets, putting various instruments down into the water, and hearing leaders discuss ocean factors, these students must have absolutely come back with a new appreciation for life at sea, the food chain, and all that entails.

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

Condor Express, and

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