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One of the All-Time Summer Excursions !

2015 07-28 SB Channel East

The following raw numbers do not tell the whole story. Humpbacks = 4 Blue whale = 1 Minke whales = 2 Risso’s dolphins = 50 Common dolphins = 1,200

So here is the entire saga. Sea conditions were optimum, flat, no wind, sunny and we still had that very blue, clear water. We initially ran to the far east, then moved west along the north edge of the shipping lanes. Just past Habitat, on the first (easterly) leg we spotted our first humpback whale and had great looks as we followed along at a safe distance. Many long-beaked common dolphins were also in the area. We continued to move east.

Out near the G-Spot and the southern edge of The Flats there were 3 more humpback whales. This included a mother humpback with her calf and another very large whale escort. The trio was pretty much all business at first, with the little calf doing some surface “chomps.” After nice looks Captain Dave and his crew moved the Condor Express over a large northern anchovy bait ball so the whale fans on board could see what was motivating all this marine life. To everyone’s amazement the little calf continued to follow the bait ball, even up close to the boat. Of course, more common dolphins were here to feed as well. The crystal water clarity enhanced everything. Wow! What fantastic views.

On the second leg of the excursion we doubled-back and followed The Ledge west paralleling Santa Cruz Island. At a point just south of Habitat we first encountered a large pod of Risso’s dolphins. Again, the water clarity really made these white #dolphins show up against the deep blue depths below. Soon we found 2 Minke whales that were in the same region chasing bait. There were regular down and up times and finally one of the pair made a bee-line to the Condor Express and paid us a friendly visit. It rolled around and showed us its stripes and the entire body was easily seen. It also swam back and forth under the boat. This super friendly encounter was repeated 3 more times, until the crew spotted another, larger spout nearby. This turned out to be a giant blue #whale with short (7 minute) down times. The “blue streak” of this massive beast really lit up under the surface and made it easy for everyone to follow. All together this was one of the most epic summer days we have had so far this year, especially in terms of the diversity and exceptionally friendly behavior of the whales. And that’s the whole story.

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

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