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Large numbers of humpbacks and dolphins

(above: a breaching humpback whale)

2022 11-11 SB Channel

Seas were calm. Skies were mostly sunny. Winds were light and variable. Sightings were phenomenal: 11+ humpback whales, 2000 long-beaked common dolphins and 300 California sea lions.

On both our inbound and outbound leg of the journey we encountered all 2000 of the dolphins seen today in a vast megapod just 3 miles offshore. In the morning we slowed down and got some fantastic looks at this dense assembly of small cetaceans. Uncharacteristically, on the whale spot later, there were no dolphins present even though there was abundant food.

Just north of The Lanes, we found the humpback feeding zone with plenty of sea birds and California sea lions present. We watched two groups of 5 whales each, and both were divided into a pair and a trio. Both groups were actively feeding sub-surface, but the early group did have a couple of instances of surface lunge feeding. There were also a few close passes as whales chasing bait balls happened to surface near the Condor Express. As we started to move from the first group to the second, a trio of humpbacks started spy hopping.

The second group featured some nice breaching. Also, some sideways slow swimming, and pectoral flippers in the air, was also observed. Many additional spouts were visible within binocular range.

On the trip home we slowly passed an 11th whale and had a few fast looks.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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