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Spectacular last trip for 2018

2018 12-31 SB Channel

It was a spectacular last trip for 2018, and sightings included 20 inshore bottlenose dolphins, 1 gray whale and 2 humpback whales. Sea conditions were good. The air was fresh and wintery.

Around 1010am bottlenose dolphins were encountered on the outskirts of the East Beach anchorage and were spread out over a quarter mile or so. They made a few close passes, rode our bow and one mother dolphin kept coming by to show off her little calf. The dolphin fan club on the Condor Express cheered.

Captain Dave and the crew left the dolphins and the harbor behind and set off on a southerly course heading. A little more than a half hour later deckhand Colton spotted a nice spout in the distance which turned out to be a single adult gray whale. This whale was on its southbound migration to Baja California, which most all of them are this time of year. Thus, the whale was very regular: 7 minutes down, then 3 breaths on the surface, etc. Although it never fluked up, we had great looks at its head, spout, and flanks. It was traveling just beneath the surface and was easy to follow.

The crew retrieved two horrible Mylar balloons from the ocean surface today: one was clear with some cheerful message, and the other was bright metallic magenta. Yay, Condor crew!

High noon. Two spouts which, this time, turned out to belong to a pair of adult humpback whales on the move. The pair was heading southeast and did not deviate from their path. They, too, were regular with easy to follow down and up periods. At times their path brought them close to the boat, and we had wonderful looks.

Again today we saw large flocks of western grebes sitting on the water about 8 miles offshore. Their melodious calls back-and-forth could easily be heard above the engine roar.

On the way home Dave took us close to Platform A, which was responsible for the infamous 1969 blow out and oil spill, but has had no such problems since then.

Happy 2019 to all! Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

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