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Lots of gray whales, a few humpbacks a friendly Minke and a mob of sea lions

2021 04-04 SB CHANNEL

Captain Dave and his crew completed three public whale watching tours today at 9a, 12n, and 3p. It was partly sunny all day and seas had a light to moderate west wind chop. Sightings for the day included: 11 gray whales, 3 humpback whales, 1 Minke whale and 60 California sea lions.

On the morning run, Captain Dave headed down east to avoid the incoming westerly wind chop. Near Platform Gilda 3 gray adult gray whales were watched and good looks were had. On the course set for home we soon found a single humpback whale in The Flats and watched it. Finally, near home and out by the oil rig line, a friendly Minke whale came over to the boat and rode alongside for a short visit.

Noon found us within 1 mile of the shore and heading up the coast. A single gray whale was found near Shoreline Drive, but we left right away due to the significant number of small boats all around this popular animal. Off Hope Ranch we found a pair, followed by another pair and soon thereafter, you guessed it, a third pair of gray whales. Fun it was seeing all these migratory beasts. After moving offshore we found 2 large adult humpbacks and watched them. As sometimes happens, as we slowly moved away to head back to the harbor, the whales got frisky and started lob-tailing and causing a ruckus in distance.

By the time we departed SEA Landing at 3p, the westerly swell and chop had increased a bit and we were forced to move slowly to keep the boat steady and ride comfortable. Luckily, we located a young gray whale off Shoreline and followed it as it swam just beneath the surface. At one point it had rolled upside down and was swimming alongside the Condor Express paralleling our course. Wow! Near Hope Ranch we stopped and watched two large and vociferous mobs of California sea lions.

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

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