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Lots and lots of action close to the shore!

2024 02-29 SB Channel

 

Happy Leap Day everybody! We ran both trips today (9a and 12n). Seas were fairly calm. Skies were overcast all morning and the sun broke out late in the second trip. A light wind came up then too. Totals for the day include: 5000 long-beaked common dolphins, 4 humpback whales, 2 gray whales and 60 California sea lions.

 

Both trips started with a run up to UCSB (see nautical chart above). Similarly, both trips found mega-mega-pods of dolphins 3 – 4 miles south of the campus. The area remained full of surface northern anchovy bait balls, which attracted the dolphins, various seabirds (with many birdnados), and humpback whales…all there to feed. On the 9a trip, we saw at least 3000 dolphins in the area, and 2 large rafts of California sea lions, seemingly enjoying some rest. (How, and why, they rest in an area full of hot spots, with copious feeding going on, is yet another mystery).  In general, the humpbacks followed the dolphins. We assume the dolphins can more accurately pinpoint the bait balls using their active sonar, as the whales use passive sonar only.

 

On the morning trip we watched 2 northbound whales about 2 miles off More Mesa, it was a mother/calf pair. We found them after the humpback/dolphin sighting.

 

On the noon trip, both whales were adults and alternately engaged in sub-surface feeding on the bait balls, with surface behaviors such as lob-tailing and rolling around INSIDE THE BIRDNADO! There’s something I did not expect.

 

 

Bob Perry,

Condor Express and 

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"Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can." -- H.M. 1851

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