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Thousands of feeding dolphins plus more than a dozen friendly, feeding humpback whales.

Image: A friendly humpback spyhops with kelp all over it’s rostrum. 

2024 06-10 SB Channel 


Captain Dave and the crew transected The Channel under clear and sunny skies. A light breeze early became a bit stronger offshore. More good news: the excellent water clarity persists and greatly enhanced our sightings. Today we closely watched: 14+ humpback whales, 5000 common dolphins and 2 ocean sunfish (Mola mola).


Just 2 miles outbound from the harbor we spent a bit of time enjoying two small pods of friendly dolphins, about 200 animals each. As with all the dolphins today, they were feeding on small bait fish, mostly just beneath the surface.


Further out we entered the first of two large hot spots. Both spots were flush with thousands of feeding dolphins and a few diving pelicans. In actuality, we were with dolphins all day, but there were megapods on the hot spots. We also watched 8+ whales in this first area, as they appeared to be moving slowly east. The octet included a mother with her small calf. The calf was friendly with the Condor Express. It also rolled around and rubbed up against mom. The rest of the whale were also boat-friendly.


After seeing abundant spouts, we moved one mile west against the oncoming wind and seas. The second hot spot featured 5+ additional whales. At one point, the bait was up and we witnessed a wonderful sideways lunge feeding whale. A small juvenile in the group spent a lot of time kelping. It draped kelp over its body, and moved it long pectoral flippers through the floating seaweed. It also did a slow-motion spyhop in the middle of the kelp paddy, and came up with its rostrum fully festooned. (See today’s photo for an example).

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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Jul 11
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

The kelping shot alone makes that a stunning day of beautiful photography!

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