So many dolphins and some nice humpback whales on a glassy surface…and foggy day.

2021 06-17 SB Channel

Captain Dave reported nearly perfect glassy surface waters today and little-to-no wind. But that’s what you expect when you had dense fog all day! Yet somehow, decades on the water has given Dave a few tricks and managed to put together the following closely watched list: 4 humpback whales, 5000 long-beaked common dolphins and, sadly, 5 floating Mylar balloons on the surface.

The Condor Express was not too far offshore from Hope Ranch when our all-day sidekicks, the common dolphins, first joined us. We followed the dolphins from pod to pod because many were actively feeding (lots of bird around them), and sometimes this brings humpback whales because they feed on the same anchovy schools. There wasn’t a time without marine mammals once the first dolphins found us.

Within the first few pods, still off Hope Ranch, our first whale sighting was a juvenile. It was feeding subsurface and was fairly easy to follow, even in the fog. Soon an adult whale came in to focus and after a while the two joined up. It was wonderful to see this partnership form (albeit a temporary one).

As we continued following the actively feeding dolphins we encountered a pair of large adult whales among the smaller cetaceans. So much calm water made the observations great, when they whales came into view from the fog.

Along the route out and back the crew retrieved 5 deadly Mylar helium balloons that came from celebrations ashore and were let go. The prevailing winds, especially in the night and morning hours, bring the slowly descending balloons offshore where they can be mistaken as gelatinous animals and cause problems with the natural food chain and environment.

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

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