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Wonderful weather (for now) yields wonderful whale and dolphin sightings today

Image: Humpback whales surface lunge-feeding on northern anchovies.

2023 08-18 SB Channel

The sun broke out before 11am, seas were calm, wind was light and the water was clear. Aka, conditions were wonderful. Sightings included: 1500 long-beaked common dolphins and 3 humpback whales.

While transecting the Channel and just past The Buoy, our first dolphin encounter included lots of animals spread out across a 1-mile swath of ocean. They followed us for a while and enjoyed our wake waves.

As we moved into and then south of The Lanes, most of the action centered around couple of large, adult whales working on a tightly packed schools of surface anchovies. Although some of the feeding must have been sub-surface judging by the amount of zooming around that was going on, the pair did manage 5 or 6 stupendous vertical lunges. Later one of them did some chin-slapping.

A third whale was seen breaching in the distance.

After the whales decimated the bait fish population, the moved on their separate ways. Captain Dave used this break in the action to take a tour of the nearby northern sea cliffs, grottos and caves of beautiful Santa Cruz Island. This was topped off by taking the Condor Express into the first chamber of this cave, the world’s longest sea cave.

On the way home we found additional common dolphins.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry

Condor Express, and

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