2021 04-02 SB CHANNEL
A bumpy ocean with dense fog transitioned to calm seas and sunny skies. Captain Colton and his crew conducted 3 excursions today: 9a, 12n and 3p. Sightings were consistent with the past week…phenomenal: 15 humpback whales and 50 Dall’s porpoise.
A single humpback was a “morning miracle,” having been spotted after a slow trek up the coast with visibilities less than 100 feet at times. The Condor Express was about 6 miles off Platform Holly when the fog lifted just enough to locate and watch this whale.
By noon the skies were mostly blue and Colton took the boat into the middle of the Channel where, similar to yesterday, all the humpback action was in the vicinity of the NOAA East Channel Buoy. On the way to the buoy, we were treated to a rather large pod of Dall’s porpoise that was split into sub-groups of 10 or so. These amazing black and white torpedoes are always a delight. A single humpback was watched too. Like some of the afternoon whales, this animal was doing some close-to-the-surface sideways lunge feeding. After each attack it rolled onto its back, exposing its ventral grooves. Anchovies leaped everywhere and a large aggregation of noisy seabirds was there to help clean up the escapees.
The largest number of whales (10) was seen during the afternoon trip. Again the East Channel Buoy area was very productive. Some of the whales did the surface lunging described above. One of the last whales of the group threw its tail around several times very close to the Condor.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and