Nice conditions. Abundant mammals.

2021 10-24 SB Channel

Skies were partly cloudy. There was not much wind, and a light chop on the water came from storms to the north. Sightings were tremendous: 12+ humpback whales, 2500 long- beaked common dolphins and 300 California sea lions.

Both hot spots today were, once again, in The Lanes. The morning area was filled with at least 2000 dolphins, sea lions and 8 humpback whales…with more in the area. The whales were grouped 3, 3, 1 and 1. The first trio contained one of those humpbacks that “chomps” at the surface. We don’t see any prey species, so we guess it might be cleaning out its mouth, rinsing its baleen, making social noises, or just having fun with the bubble action. It chomped for the duration of the sighting.

Captain Dave and the crew took the Condor Express on a short and sweet tour of the northern sea cliffs of Santa Cruz Island and put the boat inside the first chamber of the famous Painted Cave. The wind inside The Cave was coming at a peculiar angle and causing it to fill with a glowing seawater and foamy mist. I was kind of eerie and Halloween-like.

After exiting The Cave and heading home, we found 4 more whales in a different section of The Lanes. These were all adults and did a bit of rolling onto their sides. They paid a few visits to the Condor and a nearby sailing vessel.

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

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