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TONS of blues, a humpback and 3 species of dolphins.

2020-08-08 SB Channel Southwest

An Epic Adventure – Santa Rosa Island !

Skies became sunny soon after we rounded the harbor entrance buoy and said goodbye to all the California sea lions. Once we were 4 or 5 miles out the moderately lumpy nearshore sea conditions completely flattened out. It was an epic adventure to Santa Rosa Island and the following observations were made: 8+ giant blue whales, 1 humpback whale, 3000 long-beaked common dolphins, 100 offshore bottlenose dolphins and 75 Risso’s dolphins. (Note: there were at least 18 blue whales within binocular range; we closely watched 8 or so).


Common dolphins were with us for the entire trip and several of the herds might qualify as mega-pods. Several of the larger pods were actively surface feeding with an entourage of seabirds all around. Per usual, most of them found time to ride some waves generated by the Condor Express and also came by to greet their fans. Closer to Santa Rosa Island a slow and steady group of Risso’s dolphins was encountered. They spent a lot of time on the surface and their white bodies shined brightly in the bright sun and blue water.

The same sun and clear water created wonderful looks in the land of the giants when the beasts were near the surface and reflected the solar energy. Feeding was sub-surface and, as has been the case for about a month, evidence of their krill diet was found in the form of red scats floating around. One humpback put in a cameo appearance amongst the giants today as well. It is interesting to note that one of the blue whales had a severely deformed tail (see today’s photo by Capt Dave). It appeared to be an old, well-healed injury and was quite distinctive.

As we prepared to slowly depart today’s hot spot, a pod of at least 100 very active offshore bottlenose dolphins located the Condor Express and rode our waves, then moved on to ride the blue whales with similar gusto.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

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