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Sunny skies and bumpy ocean yields spectacular whale and dolphin sightings

Image: Two friendly humpbacks visit the Condor Express on a bumpy day.

2023 08-29 SB Channel

Captain Dave and the crew slowly worked their way as far as they could go offshore as the Condor Express headed into a moderately bumpy ocean. Skies were blue and winds did not kick up until late in the trip. Yet the keen-eyed, dedicated crew was able to put together some great sightings: 4 humpback whales and 1500 long-beaked common dolphins.

Although the short interval swells that were generated by winds offshore overnight slowed us humans down a bit, it is always a marvelous day to be on the ocean watching marine mammals “in their element!” We saw the dolphins and the whales riding waves, and, at times, heading into the on-coming seas and busting through. Breathtaking!

East of the NOAA East Channel Buoy we located an area with all the aforementioned marine life. Out of 4 whales, 2 were located above the wave crests because they breached about ½ mile away. Upon arriving on the scene, each of the two whales became very friendly (see today’s photograph for an example). One did some mugging, and maintained a vertical position in the water while performing a pirouette, like a 35-ton “ballena-rina.”

On the way back home, more open ocean surfing dolphins.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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