This is getting ridiculous. Trip after trip, and the running streak of high quality trips continue. Thursday morning, I returned from Moab, Utah to be greeted by a pod of (well over) two thousand dolphin, the vast majority of which were Risso’s Dolphin. Deep divers: they roam the edges of the continental shelf, hunting squid in blackness of the ocean deep. Echolocation, a biological SONAR (which is an abbreviation of “sound navigation and ranging”) aids them in their pursuit. Two thousand Risso’s are truly a sight to behold. However, amongst their ranks were friends; Pacific White Sided Dolphin AND Northern Right Whale Dolphin appeared, and joined our vessel for some bow riding fun (a form of dolphin surfing). Reluctantly, we abandoned the stampede, and quickly dispatched with some humpback whales. Filling our eyes with them for some time, until before we knew it, the time came to go home. Oh yeah, the weather was amazing. Today was rather noteworthy as well; just as we left the harbor, I spotted a blow, not 100 yards from the jetty. “I bet that’s a Grey Whale,” said I, and I was not wrong. Indeed, the very first Grey Whale of the season had just been found. Over 20,000 more are to be expected in the coming months, as they make their own great migration south to Baja for breeding. Awesome. After a few decent looks, we pushed on for the humpbacks, quickly finding them in time for one to execute a handful of “tail slappings.” In the blink of an eye, it was time to reload up on passengers. We made way back to the harbor, swapped a few faces, and went right back out. Within minutes, a few dozen Risso’s Dolphin were found, and afterwards came our obligatory Humpbacks. However, the true star of the show for that trip, was a young lady named Malika. Barely 8 years old, this girl brimmed with enthusiasm, asking many good questions, and patiently digesting the answers. At one point, she raised her hand, and after being acklowledged, she declared, “Someday, I want to see a Beluga and a Sea Otter.” I told her that Belugas would require an adventure much further north, towards the Arctic Circle. “However,” I assured her, “We might be able to do something about that Sea Otter.” Her eyes lit up, and I simply smiled and said, “But no promises.” She nodded in understanding. As sure as the days grow short, we perused the usual hangouts, and easily found the requested Otter (seven of them, to be exact). As I described the animals and their lives over the microphone, I could see Malika nodding as if I was speaking directly to her. So then I basically did. I described the Otters’ status as a Keystone predator. “Have you guys ever heard of Keystone predators?” I asked the boat. There, at the far end of the boat, Malika shook her head, eager for the answer. After doing my best to keep it as simple as possible. Finally, I asked over the speakers, “Make sense?” Malika nodded with a smile. Just like that. Our day was over. Another good one, in the life of a whale watcher.