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Sea lions, humpbacks, dolphins, fun

2019 05-04 SB Coast

There was a slight springtime coolness in the air with a high marine stratus layer and calm seas. We ran two trips today one at 9am and one at noon. Totals for the day included 4 humpback whales, one Minke whale, 100 long-beaked common dolphins, and 100 California sea lions. The enormous explosion the little jelly named Velella velella continued today.

On the morning trip we ran about 3 or 4 miles off Hope Ranch and found a single humpback whale. There was also a mini mob of sea lions in the area. We had pretty darn good looks. There was also a Minke whale patrolling the region. About an hour later we spotted 3 humpback whales along with a herd of dolphins and lots of sea lions. It was a hotspot full of sea birds and a lot of activity. The two whales were not a pair but we’re actively feeding on the surface and lunging from time to time on the bait fish. Great to see. A NatGeo experience. The afternoon trip found us heading offshore about 5 miles and then running west up the Channel. Around 1 o’clock our deckhand, Devin, put the gaff on a horrible Mylar balloon.

Right away we came across a full-grown humpback whale. It was a big one for sure. It made several very close approaches to the boat where we could see its long white pectoral fins in the water. This whale had been adopted by a juvenile sea lion. The sea lion went everywhere the whale went as we watched the two species over the next hour. When the whale went down, so to the sea lion. After a while it looked like the whale was getting a little bit annoyed by the presence of the sea lion. I suppose it was kind a like having an annoying fly or a bumble bee buzzing around your head. Serval times the humpback whale seem to signify its annoyance by letting loose some mild trumpet vocalizations. It was great to see the two interacting however and made the whole trip a lot of fun. You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

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