Ocean Sunfish, or Mola mola

11 Gray Whales and 100 Dolphins

2019 03-23 SB Coast

The sightings were phenomenal today as Captain Dave and his crew ran 2 public whale watch trips. Most of the life was within 4 miles of shoreline, and included: 11 gray whales and 100 long-beaked common dolphins. Skies were partly cloudy with a little bit of light drizzle here and there. Sea conditions were fantastic.

At 9 AM we were greeted right away by a giant ocean sunfish, a.k.a. Mola mola, which was, as the name implies, sunning itself right off Leadbetter. A little bit further west, a trio of gray whales made for a great watching as we follow them all the way up to Coal Oil Point, a.k.a. Counter Point.

At this point, Dave turned it offshore about 4 miles and a nice herd of dolphins was encountered feeding on northern anchovies. Seabirds and sea lions had also joined in the feast. The water was so clear that the boat was able to move right up and see all the bait in the water that was under attack.

4 gray whales were encountered west of the lighthouse on the noon trip. They formed a tight quartet that was easy to watch. On the outside loop, another quartet provided similar good looks.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.

Bob Perry
Condor Express, and 
CondorExpressPhotos.com