2018 08-24 SB Channel
Captain Dave took the Condor Express up to the Santa Rosa Island hot spot again today and, Wow, what a day! Most of the day the sky was covered by a stratus marine layer, but it cleared on the way home. The breeze was fresh, but not difficult. Total sightings, which reflect closely watched animals, included 4 humpback whales, 2000 long-beaked common dolphins and close to 1000 California sea lions. One of the humpback whales was a very small and highly motivated calf.
Channel Islands Naturalist Corps photographic ID specialist, Gary D, was able to capture lots of great identification shots of the little calf. The crew speculated that Gary’s images may well have been the first in the life of this new beast. Way to go, Gary, the youngster is not even a year old and already it’s a star. Among the activities observed, the little calf did some tail-stands, and also threw some great tail-lobs. The other, larger, whales were seen feeding just beneath the ocean surface, as they rolled on their sides and attacked northern anchovy bait balls.
The dolphins were around in large pods all day, especially at the hot spot. These smaller cetaceans were also attacking the anchovies, as were 800 or more hungry California sea lions. The sea lions were roving through the action in packs or mobs, diving down together and returning to the surface as a group. Diving and lunging predatory sea birds filled the sky and ocean surface.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Condor Express, and