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Orcas! (plus humpbacks and dolphins)

2019 10-05 SB Channel

We left the dock at 8am on a special morning edition whale watch. The morning sun was magical and sea conditions were spectacular. Sightings were as good as it gets: 3 humpback whales, 250 long-beaked common dolphins and 15 killer whales.

Our first dolphins were encountered just 3 miles offshore, and we found small groups here and there all morning after that. Moving to a spot further offshore and southwest of Habitat, the 3 humpbacks were found. One of them did a single surface lunge feed.

Captain Dave (as you can see by his photograph) found a new spot. The crew spotted a dorsal fin on the taller side and the boat reduced speed. Moments later 2 killer whales came into focus. It was a large adult female and a calf. Our on-board killer whale guy, Adam, identified the adult as being part of the CA 216 pod. The mother and calf swam a straight, high-speed line to the northwest. The Condor Express followed at a respectful distance for more than ½ hour, when they joined up with 13 additional killer whales (again, thanks to Adam, these were from CA51 and CA138 pods).

Most interesting of all was the mixed group spent a long time mating and socializing. There was a lot of rolling, upside-down swimming (including visits to the Condor Express), tail-lobbing, pectoral fin slaps, and even some visible pink floyd. All this happened as the entire group moved about 4 miles, from the south side of the NOAA buoy, to the north side.

It was an epic day.

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

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