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White-tailed humpback and fast dolphin herds.

2021 06-25 SB Channel

After a few moments with high stratus clouds leaving the harbor, it was blue skies and bright sunshine all day. There was hardly a breeze until noon when moderate westerlies picked up, but by then we were far to the southwest. Totals for the trip included: 1+ humpback whale and 2000 long-beaked common dolphins.

As has been the pattern all week, we were no more than 30 minutes outbound from the dock when we encountered our first small pod of dolphins. There were small bait balls everywhere today, and this first one was also populated by brown pelicans. About an hour later a larger pod of 500, scattered across ½ mile of ocean, came by.

Our staff photographer, who is nearly blind, has a warped sense of humor, and rarely contributes to the sightings, actually found our humpback whale at a remarkable distance today. It was a challenging but nonetheless handsome, large animal. It was characterized by solid white tail flukes, very long down times and only 3 breaths at the surface. This one seemed to be traveling, not feeding, and was headed north, back towards the Sandpiper Golf Course.

After watching more bait balls with small 50-individual dolphin pods, we intersected the path of two larger herds, about 20 minutes apart. The final pod was charging to the west, against the oncoming seas, and was spectacular to watch. The power and grace of these cetaceans never ceases to amaze.

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

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