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Nice sea conditions produce 4 different species of marine mammals today

Image: a friendly offshore bottlenose dolphin with her calf.

2023 09-07 SB Channel

Captain Dave reports clear blue skies, light winds and a slight bump on the ocean surface. Sightings were great: 1 humpback whale, 100 offshore bottlenose dolphins, 200 California sea lions and 5000 long-beaked common dolphins.

The very small pod of common dolphins that has been hanging around just outside the harbor (1 – 2 miles out) was back in action today. We watched them for a few minutes then continued southwest towards The Buoy.

The Buoy area, and adjacent Lanes, were very productive today. LOTS of common dolphins were there and some formed large hot spots, feeding alongside sea lions and sea birds causing a few birdnados. We moved from spot to spot enjoying all the action and hoping to find a whale.

The sharp eyes of our deckhand, Benson, were glued to the binoculars and soon he located a humpback whale spout in the distance. Bravo, Benson! This whale turned out to be a large adult and it was “chasing dolphins.” This means it was moving from hot spot to hot spot, probably feeding sub-surface. (There were no surface lunges today).

On the way home a large, active pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins, many with calves, located the Condor Express. (See today’s photo for reference purposes). There was a lot of general leaping, some very high, and a lot of close-to-the-boat wake riding.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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