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Minke whales in the rain, and more.

2016 04-08 SB Channel

Just one excursion today, high noon.  I guess the rain forecast put a damper on other whale watchers that hoped for dryer viewing.  Actually, with a gray, low-hanging mist-filled cloud layer and accompanying gray ocean surface, finding spouts was not possible.  We went to searching for tail flukes, dorsal fins…anything that would show up against this monochromatic landscape.  The landscape and its cohort, the drizzle-light rain, along with a mirror glass surface, was a surreal and fantastic experience nonetheless.  Details:

12 noon Captain Dave with Captain Eric sitting alongside, navigated out towards The Flats using radar with quarter mile to one mile visibility and light rain.  The first actual cetacean sighting was a fast-moving Minke whale on the north side of Henry.  It surfaced twice and was heading west.  We were heading east and never saw that particular whale again.  Around 1255 pm we were well southeast of Hogan and found two more Minke whales, then three more after that.  Most were average size, but one that we kept seeing was huge.  Coming into a few small hot spots with cormorants, grebes, common murre and brown pelicans sitting on them, we did see a one-time horizontal lunge by a Minke that was only a few inches below the glass surface.  There were many more Minke whales in the area that are not included in the counts above.  At 145 pm a single humpback whale was lured into the hot spots and we had several good looks at it.  It was on a two-breath, then down 5 minutes, breathing cycle which was not bad for observations.  On the way home we passed through a small group of ten or so long-beaked common dolphins.

The drizzle and light rain continued all day.  We need the moisture.

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

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