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Warm, sunny, glassy and over a dozen whales, plus thousands of dolphins.

Image: a humpback whale breaches in the distance!

2023 10-07 SB Channel

This might be the last hot/heat wave day of the season! But still, it was quite balmy and refreshing out in the Channel and at Santa Cruz Island today. It was sunny all day. Seas were calm. Sightings continue to be phenomenal: 15+ humpback whales and 4500 long-beaked common dolphins. The crew removed another trio of dangerous, Mylar, deflated, floating balloons from the ocean surface.

This story may seem familiar: common dolphins were everywhere and in especially large numbers on the whale hot spots. We headed south towards the west end of beautiful Santa Cruz Island.

A mere 3 miles south of Leadbetter Beach we located and watched our first 2 whales along with a couple hundred dolphins. Both were large adults and, during their dive cycles, the happened to surface near the Condor Express a few times for some great looks.

Near the northbound Lane we found an abundance of whales and dolphins. This happened TWICE, once on our way out to the island, and again on our return trip. Although separated by a few miles, we watched 7 individual whales coming, and 6 entirely different whales going. The whales were quite spread out.

Captain Dave, know for his interpretive narrations on the subject of Santa Cruz Island, took us on a tour along the northwestern sea cliffs, crevices and grottos. The event culminated with a trip into the first chamber of the world’s longest sea cave, the Painted Cave.

The whales we watched after leaving The Cave exhibited some social vocalizations and rolling around. One breached in the distance (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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