2018 09-23 SB Channel – West
A private whale watch charter hit the jackpot as a wide region of scattered humpbacks and dolphins kept everyone busy with binoculars and cameras. There was a broken stratus layer that gave way to more sun than cloud around 1130 am. The sea surface was calm and mostly glassy. The action took place northeast and east of Platform Hondo in the Gaviota area, and totals included 10* humpback whales, 1 Minke whale, 3000 long-beaked common dolphins and about 50 California sea lions. The highlights included a mother humpback with her calf.
The fun began as we got Captain Dave’s interpretation of Platform Holly and a close-up look. A nearby mooring can was a resting place for sea lions, per usual. We also got a few fast looks and a single Minke whale before continuing our westerly course heading. Northeast of Hondo we encountered several hundred dolphins and 4 humpback whales. Great looks were had.
*Soon the entire region was coming alive with spouts. The number quoted in our talley did not include spouts seen in the distance. Most of the whales were singletons and spread widely over the area, except for the aforementioned mother and calf. With the calm, glassy surface all of the sightings were magnificent. Even more dolphins and whales were encountered as we moved southeast of Hondo.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and