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Sun July 7 – Whale Watching

On our fourth whale watch of the 2024 season, we replaced the heat and humidity on land for cool, offshore breezes at sea. Dense fog blanketed the Point, so we headed south to deeper water where visibility improved. Here, we encountered a small group of bottlenose dolphins, likely Tamanend’s, approximately seven miles from shore. This pod of 8-12 included, upon later photographic investigation, a young calf, which bore the light vertical lines from fetal folding while in the uterus. These lines remain on the young dolphin for up to a few months after birth. We continued in search of the whales and dolphins encountered in this same area just four and six days earlier. Unfortunately, the water which was a beautiful turquoise green, was now devoid of prey. Occasional groups of shearwaters (Cory’s and Great) and a few ‘rafts’ of 80-120 Wilson Storm Petrel’s were spotted, not long before finding a second group of dolphins. These were short-beaked common dolphins, and, unlike the bottlenose, were very interested in our vessel, circling around and under the boat, providing passengers excellent views of these colorful animals. We eventually continued on and came upon an unusual sight: an ocean sunfish! Mola molas, or ocean sunfish, are the largest and densest bony fish and can occasionally be seen resting and warming themselves at the surface. CRESLI did not encounter any sunfish during our 2023 season, so this was a welcome encounter. Passengers had amazing views of this uniquely-shaped animal which was accompanied by two pilot fish. A shark was also spotted nearby, but disappeared below the surface before we could get a closer view and ID. On our transit home, the dense fog returned, preventing any additional sightings.
Every trip is different and we never know what we are going to see. Join us on our next adventure into this beautiful ecosystem.

  • 8-12 Tamanend’s bottlenose dolphins
  • 6-12 Short-beaked common dolphins
  • 105 Great Shearwaters
  • 40 Cory’s Shearwaters
  • 10-15 Sooty shearwaters
  • 370 Wilson’s Storm Petrels
  • 1 Ocean sunfish