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Whales, dolphins, sea lions and a breaching bat ray.

2018 08-29 SB Channel

The hot spot was closer to home today by about 10 miles.  And it was a good thing, too, since wind and seas were getting worse the further south we searched.  But the hot spot did not disappoint.  Captain Dave and his crew report seeing 4 humpback whales, 600 long-beaked common dolphins, 300 California sea lions and a 1 bat ray.

First of all, we do not usually see, or report, bat rays.  They live closer to the sea floor and that’s usually more than 300 feet beneath the boat.  Today, at the end of the whale and dolphin sightings (described below) a single bat ray was on the surface right next to the Condor Express.  After getting great looks for a minute or two, the large cartilaginous fish breached and surprised us all.

Dolphins were sighted from about the mid-Channel region out and into the hot spot.  After some great dolphin looks, a single whale was seen, then a pair, and finally another single.  All 4 whales appeared to be juveniles, not newborns, perhaps yearlings.  They were engaged with the dolphins and sea lions in hunting sub-surface anchovy schools.  Two of them breached very close to the boat, one and then the other.  The second breacher then proceeded to chin-slap and tail-throw and, given the dramatic wind and sea conditions, put on quite a spectacular show.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry Condor Express, and CondorExpressPhotos.com

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