Superior dolphins and abundant humpback whales

6-Megaptera novaeangliae tail fluke 2013 06-19 SB Channel-145
A humpback whale fluking up.

Today we ran two trips, one typical whale watch but shifted to the morning 8a-1230p, and a private 2 hour charter in the afternoon.

As a heads-up, tomorrow is the same schedule as today, 8a -1230p. And Saturday, we run a 1pm – 530pm afternoon adventure.

Although windy conditions were forecast for the Channel, is was surprisingly calm. High winds that have been blowing for several days at the far west end of the Channel have kicked up a fair amount of short interval, steep, irregular waves. But since there was not wind on top of the seas, fearless and noble Captain Dave promptly steered the Condor Express out to the mid-Channel feeding zone. Here we closely observed 9 humpback whales, with many more within binocular sighting range. The anchovy schools were down and for the most part the humpback whale feeding was sub-surface. One sideways surface lunge was observed. Because the anchovy schools are widely dispersed, we encountered friendly common dolphins all day long, with a very non-scientific estimate of at least 3,000 individuals. The dolphins were actively mating and many very small “football size” newly born dolphins were seen with their moms. I think the dolphins stole the show today…perhaps sharing the stage with 100+ sea lions who were also out for a meal, but stopped to approach the boat.

During the afternoon private charter trip, the relatively high winds that were forecast could be seen moving in to the north Channel, and the “bump” from distant sustained winds was increasing. We followed one of the same humpbacks we saw on the morning trip, characterized by its long, pure white pectoral “wings. Again there were tons of dolphins, sea lions and sea birds feeding.

I’ll post up the photos sometime tomorrow.
Hope to see you out there soon.
Bob Perry
Condor Express

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