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Santa Cruz Channel

Morning fog gave way to a sunny afternoon on Saturday, September 10, 2016.  Sea conditions were nice and so were the mammals. When it was all said and done the following marine mammals had paid a visit to the Condor Express:  3,000 long-beaked common dolphins, 4 humpback whales and at least 500 California sea lions.  All the action was near the Santa Cruz Channel again today, a few miles north of the mouth.

The onslaught of dolphins began with several groups with hundreds of animals each near the East Channel Buoy.  Really nice looks were had by every dolphin as they observed their fans on the Condor.  Dave continued southwest and there were scattered pods of dolphins from The Lanes to the hot spot near the mouth of Santa Cruz Channel.  In addition to many hundreds of additional dolphins, several mega-mobs of California sea lions, each with 200 – 300 animals, and all the humpback whales, were found here.

At one point the 4 humpback whales split up, 3 +1.  The three headed for the Condor Express and swam around and under the boat as they studied the curious behavior patterns of the humans on the big aluminum catamaran.  It was definitely a potential whelfie moment.  Dave was able to predict the surfacing of the humpback whales by following the sea lion mega-mobs.  When the sea lions surfaced, the whales followed soon thereafter.

More dolphins were encountered on the ride home from the mouth of the Santa Cruz Channel hot spot.

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

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