2014 12-26 SB Channel
The photography today began in the harbor while we were still at the dock. Here we witnessed 2 adult California sea lions that continually swooped through the narrow strip of water between the rocks below the sidewalk and the docks leading to the SEA Landing boats. After shooting for a while it became clear that these pinnipeds had corralled a small ball of sardines in this strip of water, and were dining cafeteria style. Once outside the Harbor, we encountered one of our "local" favorite humpback whales today, Scarlet, thanks to the sharp eyes of deckhand Augie. Scarlet was smoking from east to west when we first got on the scene, heading for a medium sized hot spot full of seabirds, sea lions and long-beaked common dolphins. Although I think she devoured most of the anchovy schools below the surface, there were three nice instances of vertical surface lunge feeding. Baleen was exposed! A Minke whale was also feeding in the area and came close by the Condor Express a few times. By the end of the trip Captain Eric estimated the long-beaked common dolphins seen today at 3,000+. Heading back to the harbor we encountered 2 or 3 Pacific white-sided dolphins feeding with a mob of sea lions...gulls surrounded the action.
- - - - >< o> - - - -
Mystery photo! It's actually a California sea lion, upside down, traveling at a high speed as it emits a massive bubble blast (perhaps aimed at the photographer standing on the dock taking its photograph!). One of the eyes is clearly visible beneath the surface.