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School of Mola mola and more

Captain Dave and the Team took a new route today and ran to the eastern Santa Barbara Channel on flat glass calm seas. Sightings for the day included 1 humpback whale, 3000 long-beaked common dolphins, 150 California sea lions and 14 Mola mola.

Along our path to the east our first wildlife encounter was with a single humpback whale. At this point we were south of The Lanes and up near Potato Harbor.  The humpback is well known to the crew and has been around the Channel for months now.  It is a small whale with speckles all over its skin, nicknamed “Stinky.”

Further east, between Gail and Anacapa, a super large area of wildlife activity was encountered. Here there were thousands of dolphins and sea birds working the zone.  This would ordinarily attract additional whales, but it was not the case today.  Nearby, however, there was a mega-mob of sea lions feeding and relaxing on the surface in alternating cycles.

On the way home a giant floating kelp paddy was located with one large and at least 14 small Mola mola, or ocean sunfish.  These are the first young Mola we’ve seen this season.

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

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