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Record Breaking whale and dolphin sighting today


Image: Long-beaked common dolphins in the Santa Barbara Channel.


2023 06-27 SB Channel

Record setting dolphin and humpback day ALERT.


Although skies were sunny and bright, the ocean surface was a bit moody today. Moderate winds and seas from the west made things a bit “nautical” as Captain Devin likes to say. Sightings (as you guessed from my first sentence) were phenomenal: 500 California sea lions, 15,000 long-beaked common dolphins and 20+ humpback whales. To be honest, Devin says the above numbers are on the low side of actual population estimates, but it was certainly a record-breaking adventure.


Once again the action was in the same place as it has been the past several days: 10 miles south of the harbor. This phenomenal semi-stable hot spot is relatively rare for our area of the coast. Fueled by an almost endless supply of northern anchovy schools, most of which were beneath the surface today, the seabirds, dolphins, sea lions and whales have been feasting. The hot spot is wide, extending many miles, and there were no areas without dolphins and whales.


One our first whale clusters seemed to be in transit, but made frequent visits to the Condor Express and rode alongside as they migrated. They remained boat friendly for over an hour. Soon thereafter, the crew reported a MOAMP, Mother of All Mega Pods, that had so many dolphins it stretched out on a 4 ½ mile long line.


Meanwhile, among the 20+ whales we closely watched, there was at least one monster breach and several vigorous tail-throws.


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


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