Whales, muggings and dolphins.
2021 08-27 SB Channel
Captain Colton reported dense fog in the morning that quickly burned off to sunny skies for most of the trip. Seas were moderately bumpy from winds to the west. Sunny skies and great visibility resulted in some fantastic marine mammal numbers: 15+ humpback whales, 2500 long-beaked common dolphins, 500 California sea lions and 1 ocean sunfish (Mola mola).
The dolphins first found us about 3 miles out from the harbor and we had scattered groups of all sizes for the rest of the excursion. Dolphins and sea bird activity in this area resulted in our first humpback whale sightings. We closely watched this single, white-tailed individual but there were at least 4 more in the area. Sea lions were also in the mix.
Moving southeast we saw a single adult whale breaching in the distance, and as we moved into safe viewing position, there were at least 3 more whales. The breaching did not continue, sadly.
There was commercial shipping action in the lanes and 4 more humpbacks were there too (with sea lions, dolphins and birds). We got great looks after the ships passed through, and saw both sub-surface and surface lunge-feeding activity here. Also some surface “chomping” was observed.
In the northbound lanes a fairly tight group of 7 whales adopted the Condor Express and spent a lot of time approaching us closely, moving around our bow and flanks. Whelfies were definitely possible! Again, more whale spouts were seen in the distance.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store. Bob Perry CondorExpress, and CondorExpressPhotos.com MarineBioPhotography.com