What a day! In the morning we watched two blue whales, including one juvenile who showed up right next to the Privateer, as well as a megapod of common dolphins. The afternoon was another special experience, starting with viewing six coastal bottlenose dolphins right out of Mission Bay Channel, followed by another megapod of common dolphins, and then great looks at a blue whale showing it’s flukes on deep dives. We also saw a mola mola. A first for many of us on the afternoon trip was seeing a Velella velella (by-the-wind sailor), a cosmopolitan genus of floating hydrozoans living on the surface of the ocean–part of a community that includes the better-known Portuguese man o’war. Deck hand Chris (in photo alongside crew member Christina) was lifted upside down into the water to scoop up the little guy in a cup so all our guests would get a great look. The Velella velella was released back into the ocean after all on board got to see this beautiful, small blue creature!

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