The whole body of “Lucky” the humpback whale is visible in the clear blue water.
“Lucky” the humpback whale steals the show again
Very tiny Beaufort One ripples quickly gave way to mirror glass Beaufort Zero conditions for the rest of the day. The morning clouds gave way to sun and made a spectacular marine life watching experience today. We watched three different humpback whales. One was unknown and unnamed, a larger animal with a dark body. Another was “Top Notch,” and this whale did pass pretty close to the boat a few times, had short dives and continued its habit of showing off its flukes on deeper dives. But the real show stopper was “Lucky,” the whale that was spotted by the Condor Express on June 5 completely entangled and “hog tied” in rope from commercial spot prawn fishing gear. It was rescued by an expert and specially trained cadre of people from WET (Whale Entanglement Team) on June 6 after an 8 hour long ordeal. Lucky was spotted again on July 3 and the cuts and gashes it suffered from the rope was still looking raw and sore. This week, however, we have seen Lucky and its wounds are in much better shape. Yesterday it breached, and today it swam alongside the Condor Express for quite a while just a few yards away and its entire body was visible from head to tail in the extremely clear blue water. You will see this in the photos. It was a majestic and magical sighting and one of those that sent chills up and down my spine.
The north Channel region was still full of Minke Whales, and we saw at least a dozen as we traversed and explored the grounds today. It was also a huge day for large active pods of common dolphins which we encountered everywhere. A total number of 4,000 might be in the ball park. Sea lions were also in the mix, but not so many seabirds. On the way home a nice ocean sunfish (Mola mola) was spotted and that put an exclamation point on the end of this wonder filled day.
Next Saturday (August 16) we are not open to the public as it will be an all day American Cetacean Society whale watch adventure. Tickets are on sale here: httpss://www.eventbrite.com/e/2014-acs-blue-whale-watch-tickets-12186388817
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express Photographer and Biologist