Tuesday, June 22, 2010


to me
show details Jun 18 (4 days ago)

June 6 aboard Dos Osos with Captain Kevin, we saw a gray whale, about 2 months past the season when they are usually here. Normally they migrate past Morro Bay Dec.-early Feb. going south, then return north late Feb.-April. That day we also saw a minke whale several times. This was also unusual because that species often doesn't show itself more than once or twice. At one point, the minke whale was swimming in one direction, and crossed paths with the gray whale which was headed the opposite direction. An amazing day!

June 12, it took Kevin and me (and several whale watchers) awhile to get out where some other boats had spotted whales, but once there it was obvious that there were 2 blue whales. One was a juvenile, probably 55-60' long, and the other was much larger, perhaps 75-80' long. An adult blue whale's blowhole is about a foot long, and the blow is a tall straight cloud like an Italian cypress tree, 30-40' tall. There are few words to describe what it's like to be next to such immense creatures.

June 13 was foggy. Captain David Butler and I used a technique we've used before to find whales. We'd motor along for awhile, turn the motors off and listen for about 10 minutes, then move on. The third time we listened, we heard a whale's loud huff behind us. We caught up to a humpback whale that was making repeated shallow dives. It dove 25-30 times, only raising its tail twice. At one point, we saw a huge patch of tiny krill (shrimp, Euphausia superba) just under the water's surface. The whale was evidently gorging on that. While headed back in the fog, we encountered the same 2 blue whales seen on June 12, and another one or two. It was a little hard to tell how many whales were there, because their grayish-white blow melted into the foggy background. Hearing that blue whales were seen again on June 18 makes me want to shout that You Gotta Come Along. OK, I'm cheating, I work on the boat, but really it's exciting. Come check us out.

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