NGL 24.39.236N 110.30.712W, clear sky, air temperature 34C, wind N 5, swell N 1-2, water temp 22C, vis 5meters.
This morning we started on the east side of Espiritu Santo and went down and around the island through the San Lorenzo channel. Not much to report on this exploration, just the usual isolated mobula jumping. The rhib explored the bay of San Gabriel with its mangrove and frigate nests and then the guests had a snorkel on the reef outside of the bay.
After breakfast we kept heading north along the west side of the island, the rhib going to Los Islotes to observe the sea lions from the rhib (los Islotes is closed for swimming at the moment). From the NGL, we could observe a lot of birds (frigates, brown pelicans, boobies…) fishing about 5 nm northwest of Los Islotes.
As I approached I could see bonitos (small tunas) and jacks working on bait balls of sardines, splitting them and bringing them up close to the surface. The balls were at a maximum of 1 meter in diameter but there was a real food frenzy from the birds and fish. Then 1 of the ball I was watching disappeared, completely engulfed by a Bryde whale! There were 3 Bryde whales on site, feeding on the bait balls. The rhib and the guests joined the party and they have been enjoying the whales feeding. Yesterday afternoon, all the guests had great encounters with a massive pod of bottlenose dolphins (300-400) that let them interact underwater and displayed their agility in the wake of the rhib and the NGL. After that, it was very quiet until sunset when the rhib had a brief encounter with a fin whale, but it did not get very close.