Today it was the 10:00 AM that took the show. We haven’t seen common dolphins for a while. So it was nice when these common dolphins came buzzing through this large group of lunge-feeding humpbacks.
It was hard not to follow them right when they came through. But when you have 6-8 humpbacks lunge feasting with a large gang of marauding sea lions, you don’t leave. Then after about 20 minutes of surface-feeding hijinks, the humpbacks seemed to have had their fill for the moment.
It was a good thing for us that the common dolphins didn’t go far as they were feeding on other nearby schools of anchovies.
Our luck ran out for today’s afternoon trips. The wind whipped up hard and made the going ruff starting with the 3:00 PM trip. After trying to keep up with a continuously breaching mother and calf pair, we had to turn back because the chop and wind made it impossible to keep up.
But on the way in, we had probably the best series of close up breaches by another mother and calf just outside of the harbor mouth. We almost always see more breaching and acrobatics when the wind and chop pick up. And today was no different.
We could see explosions of white water happening all around. When the conditions get rough, I have to put my camera down and keep my hands on the wheel. I hate when I have to do that. But some of the passengers got some incredible breaching photographs as this mother and calf breached repeatedly about 20 yards from the boat.
The 5:00 pm trip ended up being a wild ride in challenging conditions. But we did get some excellent looks at bow riding Dall’s porpoise. But I had my hands full keeping the boat straight. What a difference a day makes.