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Two nice hot spots on a windy day with a single humpback visiting both

2022 06-17 SB Channel

Skies started out overcast but, as the wind filled-in, they cleared. Meanwhile, the ocean surface became populated with whitecaps and precluded travels to the islands and southern regions of the Channel. Sightings included: 1 humpback whale, 1000 long-beaked common dolphins, 60 California sea lions and a bunch of ocean sunfish (Mola mola) that were difficult to count given the sea state (4).

Our first dolphin encounter was about 5 miles off the harbor with a many hundred-strong pod actively surface feeding. Sea birds and sea lions were also cashing in on the northern anchovy bounty. A feeding juvenile whale found the hot spot and joined the dining table. We had a nice sighting with great looks, but soon spotted more action to the south.

At about 9 or 10 miles out from Hope Ranch, another, slightly larger, pod of feeding dolphins came into view. We watched this second hot spot an found more birds and sea lions in the mix. After a while, the same humpback came over and engaged in more feeding.

On the way back to the harbor, Captain Dave passed by offshore oil platform Charlie (or “C,” for short). He showed the many levels and parts of a typical platform and summarized the history, depth, pumping and environmental concerns.

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

Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

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