Reports of Orcas yesterday, 2 scarred-up fin whales today. Coincidence? Lots of blue whales today too.

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A mother fin whale with her calf were watched closely today. Both have fresh wounds on their dorsal fins. Was it an Orca attack?

2020 09-11 SB Channel East

Captain Dave and his crew had brown fog most of the day, that’s a mixture of regular ocean fog and a little smoke mixed in from distant wildfires. The fog was low near the mainland and lifted nicely to permit lateral whale spotting later in the trip. Seas were relatively calm with a light breeze and light chop out near the land of the giants.  Sightings included: 4 giant blue whales, 2 fin whales and 1500 long-beaked common dolphins.

Dolphin encounters were numerous and started about 10 miles offshore with small feeding pods surrounded by hungry, vocal sea birds. As we moved farther away from land the pods got larger. In the northbound shipping lane we stopped for a while to interact with a big group of about 800 dolphins.

Both species of whales were in our special hot spot adjacent to the easternmost tip of Santa Cruz Island and within the southbound lanes. We watched a pair of giant blue whales that was soon joined by a third giant. Spouts to the east of the blues turned out to be a mother fin whale with her calf/juvenile. We spent some quality time with this fin whale pair. Both whales bore distinctive rake-type wounds on their dorsal fins (see photo above). Our collective hypothesis is that the wounds were from killer whales (which were seen in the area as recently as yesterday).

After the fin whale sighting another giant blue was watched and was our last cetacean of the trip.

SPECIAL NOTE:

I just got off the hotline with Capt Dave with news of our second 8-hour whale watch of the summer. Mark your calendars for Saturday September 26. The trip departs promptly at 8am and returns sometime after 4pm. Sign up at www.condorexpress.com or call SEA Landing.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry
Condor Express, and
CondorExpressPhotos.com

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