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Nine humpbacks, 3500 dolphins and a Minke whale, too.

2020 10-16 SB Channel

The weather pattern this week has set up wonderful, calm and glassy sea conditions which are ideal for closely watching cetaceans. No wind, no swell…bright sun…a blast of late summer warmth wafted through the Channel. Sightings included 9+ humpback whales, 1 Minke whale and 3500 long-beaked common dolphins.

Dolphins were abundant and feeding everywhere we went and formed large pods on the feeding grounds they shared with sea birds, sea lions and whales. This was no surprise as all three groups of carnivores prey on the same species: northern anchovies. Again, the crystal clear “Santa Barbara cobalt” blue water greatly enhanced the dolphin-watching today.

With the first large dolphin aggregation came the first couple of single humpback whales. The second whale was very active throwing its tail around, rolling, side-swimming and vocalizing. A bit later we came across a hotspot that included 6 more whales. One of these got very friendly with the Condor Express, swam up and down the sides, passed to and fro under our twin hulls, and, again, the water clarity really dialed-up the experience.

Between the two aforementioned hot spot/whale zones we had a brief but intense look at a boat-friendly Minke whale near the northbound shipping lane.

On the way home yet another feeding aggregation included a humpback whale when we were only 5 miles or so out from the harbor.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry Condor Express, and

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