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Summer gray whales, Risso’s, commons and more Mola mola

2022 06-10 Santa Rosa Island

Skies were overcast except for sunny Becher’s Bay, Santa Rosa Island (see map). Seas were flat and calm. Sightings included 3 Pacific gray whales, 25 Risso’s dolphins, 500 long-beaked common dolphins, and 50+ ocean sunfish (Mola mola).

At beautiful Becher’s Bay, in shallow water 25 – 65 feet deep, we spent quality time with friendly, bottom-feeding Pacific gray whales. There were 2 big adults and 1 mildly thin younger animal. The water clarity was very good again, and we could watch the feeding whales down below. Sediment trails followed the whales as they came up to spout and breathe.

As we pulled away from Becher’s Bay, and still inside Santa Cruz Channel, we were intercepted by a small pod of Risso’s dolphins and had great looks. On the way home, closer to shore, we, again, saw lots of ocean sunfish (Mola mola), and slowed to watch a cluster of 50 animals with lots more that we passed by.

Only 3 miles out from the harbor entrance a herd of 500 or so common dolphins greeted us and provided a wonderful sighting to put closure on an epic wildlife trip.

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

Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

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