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More glassy seas and a great variety of marine animals today!

Image: A humpback whale spouts near a container cargo ship in the Santa Barbara Channel.

2023 08-09 SB Channel

The sea surface was marvelously glassy all day again today. Skies had a thin, hazy stratus layer that never produced fog. In addition to the total lack of wind, the water clarity was superb. Sightings were great: 2 Minke Whales, 5 Humpback Whales, 1500 Long-Beaked Common Dolphins, and 1 Ocean Sunfish (Mola mola).

Although most of the action was concentrated in the 1-mile-wide zone that separates the north and southbound commercial shipping lanes, we did see a nice pod of dolphins just south of the Kelp Farm.

Out in the Separation Zone there were 4 whales and more dolphins. Most of the whales were actively feeding sub-surface. One breached just under a mile from the Condor Express. A single Minke whale passed by us here too. While we were watching this group of whales a large car-carrier vessel came close by and asked us to move a bit to make things safer for all. (Sometimes these big cargo vessels get too close to the whales which is why there is a NOAA slow-down program in the hot spots. Container ship with a humpback is an example and our picture above).

In the Northbound Lane we watched a single juvenile whale. It, too, was feeding sub-surface. A second Minke came by and gave us much better looks than its predecessor.

A single Ocean Sunfish (Mola mola) was also watched for a while and the water clarity really added to the sighting.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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